Carole Basri


Although the issues surrounding the Palestinian refugees are frequently addressed at the United Nations ("U.N."), in the news media, and in legal journals, very little has been written about the Jews displaced from Arab lands. In light of the little known fact that approximately 50% of Israelis are Jews from Arab lands or their descendents, this Article will use Jews from Iraq as a case study in examining the history and rights of Jews from Arab countries, who were expelled or forced to seek refuge elsewhere. Part I of this Article examines the historical legal status of Jews in Iraq and the discriminatory and prosecutorial events that triggered the expulsion of Jews from Iraq. Part II demonstrates that actions taken by Iraq against Jews violated international law standards and other laws applicable now and at that time. Part III addresses the question of whether Jews from Arab lands currently have any available remedies for these violations of their rights. Finally, the Article concludes that a full accounting of the rights of Jews from Arab lands must accompany any discussions aimed at providing a regional peace agreement for the Middle East, if such an agreement is to have strength and legitimacy under international law.