Algeria to Consider Jews As Members of French Minority in the Country

The Nationality Law which the Algerian Government will present to Algeria’s National Assembly next month contains specific provisions to permit the few remaining Jews in the former French colony to choose French citizenship, it was reported here today.

The law defines as Algerians only those residents whose ancestors go back three generations born in Algeria and who conform to Moslem civil law. This religious provision was included to assure Algeria’s Jews that they will be considered “a French minority,” with the same option as others in that minority to choose French citizenship by July 1965.

The Evian agreement by which Algeria received independence from France gives citizens resident in Algeria the opportunity to choose either nationality within three years.

Throughout the Algerian struggle for independence, leaders of the independence movement who were then in exile expressed their determination to treat Algerian Jews, after independence was won, as “Algerian natives.” The mass exodus of Algerian Jews immediately after independence day was believed to have induced Algerian Government leaders to try to reassure the few remaining Jews so that they will remain in Algeria.

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