WASHINGTON—Today, Congressmen Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), and Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced the Displaced Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries and Iran Act, requiring the President to report to Congress on federal actions to ensure that any future Arab-Israeli peace accord will also address the issue of Jewish and other refugees displaced from Arab countries and Iran. The Members issued the following joint statement:
“In 1948, all Arab countries opposed the creation of the State of Israel, taking up arms against the newly established nation. This war dramatically changed the status of Jews and Jewish communities, which had existed in the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region for more than 2,500 years. The Arab governments subjected hundreds of thousands of Jews to displacement, political marginalization, or property confiscation with no compensation. Given the United States’ central role in promoting a just Middle East peace, we must ensure that refugees of Arab countries and Iran are given equal attention. The Displaced Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries and Iran Act ensures that the interests of all refugees displaced as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict are fairly considered in any final settlement of Arab-Israeli peace.”
This bill builds on H.Res.185, which passed unanimously in 2008, by requiring an annual report to Congress explaining what steps the Executive Branch has taken to address the issue of displaced Jewish refugees, detailing any assistance the United States has provided in this effort, and offering recommendations as to what more can be done to ensure that the interests of all refugees are considered as part of any comprehensive and credible Arab-Israeli peace agreement. Cosponsors include Representatives Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Daniel Donovan JR. (R-NY), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Peter King (R-NY), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), and Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-FL). The bill is supported by B’nai B’rith International and the American Jewish Committee.