Monday, January 09, 2006

Forgotten Refugees on KZSC 88.1


Today at 3:00pm on David Anton Savage's show 'Filtered Camels' on KZSC 88.1 (UCSC's radio station), there was an excellent interview with Rafi Finegold of the David Project and the Forgotten Refugees project. These two projects deal with the Forgotten Refugees of the Middle East, viz. upwards of 900,000 Jews from Arab Muslim countries who were forced to flee their homes during the 20th century due to anti-Semitic violence comparable to pogroms in Eastern Europe. While many left the Middle East and spread throughout the world, many were also immediately accepted into Israel and eventually integrated into Israeli society. It is a largely ignored piece of history, and has special significance to the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

On the show, Rafi and David discussed the contrast between the way the plight of the Jewish refugees was so quickly ameliorated by Israel, and how Arabs from the region previously known as 'Palestine' under the Ottoman Empire and British Mandate are still living in refugee camps to this day in the Middle East (as opposed to being absorbed into Jordanian/Syrian/Egyptian society). In any case, it was surprising to hear this oft-forgotten piece of the Middle East puzzle being broadcast on the radio in Santa Cruz.

If you are interested in seeing the documentary 'The Forgotten Refugees," it will be shown on the UCSC campus on January 30th at 7pm.

For information on the documentary the Forgotten Refugees, check out TheForgottenRefugees.com.

For more info on the refugees and their stories, check out DavidProject.org or JIMENA.org.

Also, just a reminder that Robin Kopit of congregation Kol Tefillah is presenting a story through pictures of his "Trip to Israel and Palestine with the Compassionate Listening Project" Thursday, January 12th, 7-9pm at the Louden Nelson Center (301 Center Street, Santa Cruz, CA). Contact Robin at (831) 458-4115 for more info.

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