UNITED NATIONS, N. Y (Dec. 3)
Egypt has ordered 21,000 Jews of its total Jewish population of 50,000 to leave the country within a period ranging from seven to thirty days, has imprisoned approximately 1,900 Jews–900 of whom are being held as hostages in undisclosed concentration quarters–and has seized or frozen Jewish assets amounting to well over $100,000,000 in value.
These were among the facts disclosed to Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold today by Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, who complained to the United Nations that the Cairo Government is violating the Geneva convention of 1949 for the protection of civilians in time of war, as well as the UN Convention on Genocide and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“The situation of the Jews of Egypt,” Mrs. Meir stated in her letter to Mr. Hammarskjold, “is a direct challenge to the moral conscience of the United Nations and of the world. My government again requests you in the humanitarian interest, to approach the Egyptian Government as a matter of extreme urgency and to persuade it to desist from this bar-baric course.”
In a memorandum attached to the letter, which was circulated today to all delegations here, Mrs. Meir provided these details. Approximately 1,000 Jews of foreign nationality have been imprisoned “under wretched physical conditions” in the Prison des Barrages in Cairo. The whereabouts and fate of some 900 individual members of deported families being held as hostages is not known yet. About 4,000 Jews have been ordered to leave within seven days. Seventeen thousand have been given 30 days to depart.
Under military proclamations, bank accounts have been frozen, property sequestrated, industrial and commercial concerns taken over by the government and Jewish employee generally dismissed. Among the Jewish business firms seized are the Pinto Cotton Company the banking house of Zilka and Mosseri, and four of the best known and long established Cairo department stores–Circurel, Chemla, Hanau and Chalons.
JEWISH PHYSICIANS BOYCOTTED; GRAND RABBI REFUSES TO WITHDRAW PROTEST
Jewish physicians have been expelled from the Egyptian medical association and are being boycotted. A number in stores have put up notices that they will henceforth refuse to serve Jewish customers.
The status of Grand Rabbi Haim Nahoum was cleared up in Mrs. Meir’s communication Last week when there was announcement that the Grand Rabbi had resigned in protest against the anti-Jewish persecutions the Egyptian spokesman for the Egyptian delegation here branded that statement a lie and said he had been authorized to do so by Cairo. However, Mrs. Meir today revealed the following details of this incident:
When Rabbi Nahoum failed to obtain the release of imprisoned Jewish leaders and was told by government officials to “mind his own business,” he sent his resignation directly to President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Two members of the Egyptian security police then came to his home, took him to the Ministry of the Interior and there he was ordered to take back his resignation. Rabbi Nahoum refused to do so. One of his subordinates was then prevailed upon to give an unauthorized “denial” to an American newspaper correspondent Rabbi Nahoum is described by those here who know him as of very advanced age and close to blindness.
Mrs. Meir told the UN that “it may not be without significance that the Egyptian Government has for a number of years had at its disposal the services of several hundred former Nazis, whose philosophy, influence training and methods have permeated the higher echelons of the army, the government and the propaganda machine.”