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Persian Jews Fear Their Government May Emulate Iraq’s Anti-jewish Measures

The measures taken against Jews in Iraq has intensified the fears of Jews in neighboring Iran that similar measures will be taken there, Rabbi Barnett Brickner, of Cleveland, reported here today on his arrival from Teheran. He said that he would make a report on the situation to Jewish organizations in the United States and would inform American Government authorities of his impressions.

A total of 4,200 Iraqi Jews was transferred from Iraq to Israel by Operation Ali Baba – the Bagdad-Lydda airline – in the week ending yesterday, an operations report disclosed today. The new arrivals protested bitterly at the treatment accorded them by the Iraqi authorities. They declared on their arrival at Lydda Airport that police and customs authorities at Baghdad had manhandled them and had forced them to remain without drinking water for as long as seven hours at a stretch. Police frequently beat up the Jews assembled at the airport awaiting transportation, they said.

The immigrants reported that they were not allowed to be present when the customs officers went through their hand luggage and they learned only on their arrival here what had been confiscated. They disclosed that businesses owned by Jews who left Iraq for Teheran had been closed by the authorities and were held as frozen property. Unless the owners return to Iraq within two months from their departure, they said, their property will be subject to confiscation under the recently enacted Jewish property sequestration laws.

The labor newspaper Davar, in an editorial today on the problems posed for Israel by the influx of refugees from Iraq and other countries, said that the issue confronting each Israeli resident was “some more margarine or another Iraqi Jew.” The paper declared that the public must be informed of the need for further austerity if the 120,000 Iraqi Jews coming to Israel in the next four months were to be absorbed. This unparalleled mass immigration, the paper declared, will affect everyone in Israel.

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