JERUSALEM (May. 12)
Gravely concerned for the safety of more than 5,000 Jews in Beirut, the Israel Association of Sephardic Jews called today on a number of governments and the Joint Distribution Committee to give immediate aid to Jews threatened by both mob violence and a possible coup d’etat which would put pro-Nasser forces in control of the Lebanese Government.
In a cable to the JDC. the Sephardic organization urged that the Lebanese Jews be evacuated as soon as possible. Other messages, to the American, British and French Embassies in Beirut, appealed to them to act, if necessary, to protect the lives and property of Lebanese Jews.
The Lebanese Jew have enjoyed the best conditions of a Jewish community in any of the Middle East Arab states and there was little reason to fear for their safety until the rioting spread to Beirut today.
With Nasser-controlled elements sparking the bloody rioting–casualties are reported to have mounted into the hundreds in the past three days–there is a possibility that a sudden revolt will toss Lebanon into the United Arab Republic camp as a third province of the Nile empire. In that event. Lebanese Jews may find themselves facing a 24-hour evacuation ultimatum–as did the Jews of Egypt during the Sinai-Suez crisis.
As news reached here of the sacking and burning of a second American library in Lebanon in three days and the blowing up of an Iraq Petroleum Company pipeline at Mansour, new reports were received that Syrian terrorists had crossed the border to aid the mobs held at bay by armed troops and police. One attempt at a revolution–a mob demand for President Camille Chamoun’s resignation-was suppressed today by the army.