April 13, 2007

Jewish Refugee Families Press for Equity

From Chicago Tribune:

A little-noticed U.S. Supreme Court decision has reopened a forgotten chapter in Middle East history with far-reaching implications. The court recently declined Coca-Cola Co.'s request to review a lower court's decision allowing a Canadian Jewish family to sue the soft-drink giant for trespass. The case was brought by the heirs of Joshias Bigio, a businessman in Egypt until its government expropriated his enterprises in the 1960s. Thirty years later, Bigio's son, Refael, discovered that Coke was using one of his father's factories as part of its Egyptian bottling operations and asked for compensation.

The Bigios are Sephardim - Jews whose ancestors lived in Muslim countries for centuries before fleeing a wave of anti-Semitic violence and intimidation that began at the founding of Israel in 1948. The Bigios' case enables Zionists to point out that Arabs weren't the only ones to lose their homes; Arab hostility to the Jewish state made Jews homeless too.