reality calling | 18.08.2003 13:25
In a bid seen as trying to get a bigger slice of the grand Iraqi cake, Israel has drawn up a file on Jewish property and money allegedly left by Jewish immigrants in Arab countries, particularly Iraq.
Israeli sources put at $10 billion the value of the so-called Jewish property in Iraq alone, noting that Israel expects the would-be Iraqi oil minister return these money calmly and without any media fuss.
One of the Jews whose family used to live in Iraq has estimated the value of Jewish property there at a mind-boggling $20 billion, the PIC said.
Quoting former Israeli energy minister Moshe Shahal, of an Iraqi origin, the center said that negotiations between Tel Aviv and Washington over this issue are underway, disclosing that a secret agreement was currently being drafted over the alleged Jewish property in Iraq.
He said that former U.S. president Bill Clinton took the initiative in raising the issue, claiming that Clinton had touched on the matter with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
Shahal further purported that Clinton suggested establishing an international fund under the supervision of the United States and the European Union to compensate those Jews.
He said that former Israeli governments abstained from tackling the issue for fear that it would give the Palestinians "a pretext" to demand compensations from Israel.
Prof. Ehuda Shinhab, professor of sociology in Tel Aviv University, has dismissed as "evil and immoral" the Israeli attempt to compare between immigration of Arab Jews to the Zionist state and Palestinian forced evacuation in 1948.
He affirmed that the Palestinians’ mass exodus in 1948 was enforced by Zionist forces that later razed to the ground their villages while Jews leaving the Arab countries and heading to "Israel" had done that with their own free will.