NEW YORK (Sep. 30)
Thirty thousand Jews in fear of their future in tension-ridden Morocco and Tunisia are seeking swift help in immigrating to Israel, Dr. Giora Josephthal, who directs the absorption of Israel’s immigrants, and is treasurer of the Jewish Agency, declared at a press conference held at the offices of the United Jewish Appeal here.
Dr. Josephthal reported that in recent months Jewish Agency offices in the two French protectorates “have enrolled 30,000 men, women and children who have appealed for immediate movement to Israel.” He expressed the fervent hope that American Jews, together with those of Israel, would “again come to the aid of those who feel themselves endangered. “
Jewish Agency officials recently had conducted an on-the-spot survey of the position of native Jews in Tunisia and Morocco and had reported that Israel immigration was a matter of sheer necessity for many, particularly those in rural areas, Dr. Josephthal stated. He noted that under a stepped-up program of immigration the Agency since August 1 has brought 3, 800 North African Jews to Israel.
“It should be clearly understood that the French authorities have always been most helpful to the Jewish minority in the two protectorates,” the Jewish Agency treasurer declared. “The people are fearful in Tunisia of the changes that will occur since it is the announced intention of the French to grant home rule there. In Morocco the most immediate cause for the sharp rise in Jewish fears was a pogrom on August 3 in the town of Petitjean.
Dr. Josephthal declared that the financing of a large scale emigration from North Africa, and the carrying out of the new ship-to-settlement plan, will require $35,000,000 in the first year. He added that “most of this sum can come only from the United Jewish Appeal,” In this connection, he expressed the hope that American Jews would help the UJA raise the $50,000,000 in cash it is now seeking in a special nationwide effort.