Jewish Situation in Moslem Countries Discussed at W.j.c. Assembly

A review of the Jewish situation in Moslem countries were presented today to the Assembly of the World Jewish Congress by A. L. Easterman, political director of the organization.

Pointing out that Jewish emigration from Morocco is at present at a complete standstill, Mr. Easterman asked the Assembly to deal with this problem without passion. The need of continuation of negotiations with the Moroccan authorities must be kept in mind, he said, as well as the delicate position of the Jewish communities in Morocco. “Protests, ” he stated, “will not help. What is needed, is patient and fruitful negotiations.”

With regard to Tunisia, the W. J.C. official reported that the pledges given by the government there in respect of Jewish rights, as well as the right of emigration, have been observed. World Jewish Congress leaders have also been assured recently by the Tunisian Government that the membership of Tunisia in the Arab League should not be taken as indicating “automatic acceptance of the League’s policy against Israel.”

The report also dealt with the disintegration of the Egyptian Jewish community. Following persecutory measures which forced the migration of more than 20, 000 Jews in the wake of the Sinai campaign of 1956, only about 10, 000 Jews now live in Egypt. “They are barely able to maintain synagogues and institutions necessary to secure the continuity of an elementary Jewish existence. The once great network of Jewish institutions has disintegrated, and one after another they have passed out of Jewish hands.” Mr Easterman reported.

Although the British and French had concluded compensation agreements, neither British nor French Jews who were resident in Egypt had been able to assert their rights under these agreements because “they face insurmountable obstacles on the part of the Egyptian authorities.” Stateless Jews, forced to emigrate from Egypt, had been left completely defenseless. “The World Jewish Congress refuses to accept the situation and those losses to be regarded as final, “Mr. Easterman said. “On the contrary, we regard as a matter of high importance that the WJC should continue to exert every possible effort to secure restoration and compensation.”

NEXT STORY