NEW YORK (Oct. 7)
Egypt’s quiet but ruthless despoliation of the remnant of Egyptian Jewry continues unabated without protest from other nations, the World Jewish Congress Institute of Jewish Affairs reported today.
The report said the mass exodus of Jews “proved extremely deleterious to Egypt’s economy.” Egyptian authorities were, therefore, compelled to release some Jewish enterprises to their owners and offer return visas “on a selective basis” to some expelled Jews. To cushion the transition to a totally Egyptianized economy, “Jewish managers and employers are forced to teach Egyptians to replace them in a short time,” the report stated. One result has been that three Egyptians are needed to replace one Jew and production has declined by 50 percent.
Hate propaganda, absent in the earlier stages of the Jewish exodus, has now become evident, according to reports by refugees. They state that individuals are abused and called “dirty Jews.” Cafes, restaurants, stores, libraries and other places display “Jews are not served here” or “Jews not admitted” signs. Public utilities, light and telephone are being cut off from Jewish dwellings, and Jews are accosted by strangers who want to know why they are still in Egypt.
Cynical subterfuge and open blackmail were used by government officials and army and police officers to grab Jewish property. In one instance, the survey states, the Minister of Finance reportedly investigated charges that “high officials of the Commiserate of Jewish Affairs” distributed sequestrated Jewish properties among themselves including about $12, 000, 000 worth of valuables and deposits in Egyptian banks.
Other pressures reported by refugees, the WJC said, included heavy censorship on the Jewish community paper, closing of synagogues on charges of serving Zionist purposes, banning of public meetings and an order to all Jews to carry special identity cards indicating their religion.
The report stated there are no available data on the value of Jewish property in Egypt. Some estimates put it at about $200, 000, 000 but the Egyptian holdings of British Jews alone have been estimated at more than $250, 000, 000. Property left by the refugees remains unsupervised unless it is sequestrated by the Egyptians. In many instances houses, factories, and other premises left by Jews are simply auctioned off as abandoned property.