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U.S. Rabbis Visit State Dept. Ask for Action on Egyptian Jews

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A delegation representing 2,200 rabbis and 4,000 Jewish congregations in the United States today presented a memorandum to the State Department, requesting the U.S. Government to condemn Egypt’s mass arrests and deportations of Jews, and the confiscation of their property.

The memorandum was presented to Assistant Secretary of State William M. Rountree. The delegation was composed of representatives of the Synagogue Council of America, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Rabbinical’ Assembly of America, and the Rabbinical Council of America. The latter three groups represent Reform, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis, respectively.

In their memorandum, the rabbis also asked that President Eisenhower use his good offices and personal prestige to remind Egypt that the United Nations-Charter applies to Jews as well as to all people, and that Egypt should “cease at once its campaign of economic strangulation, deprivations and arrests against the Jews “The delegation suggested that the United States move the creation of a U.N. Commission of Inquiry “to obtain unprejudiced information on the current situation of human rights in Egypt.”

The United States was urged by the delegation to open its doors to the Jews of Egypt, threatened with deportation, under the emergency parolee provision of the immigration code. Recalling the rise of Hitler and the Nazi attacks against Jews and human rights in general, the rabbis declared that “Hitler, too, began modestly with confiscations, with seeming legality and without public pogroms. It is the bitter lesson of contemporary history that tyranny that is not called to account sows the seed of a murderous harvest of hate for the entire world.”

The delegation, expressed its “concern over the position and safety” of Chief Rabbi Haim Nahum of Egypt who is reportedly under house arrest.

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