TEL AVIV (Jun. 8)
Unanticipated problems were disclosed today to have complicated the integration of the newly arrived here 24 Spanish Marranos, whose ancestors were forcibly converted to Catholicism 500 years ago in Spain.
It was learned that the newcomers had not been told that their return to the Jewish fold would involve a year-long procedure including circumcision for all male newcomers. They were told that, as construction workers, they would be in demand in Israel. However, they arrived during a building slump last month and their breadwinners have been given work on relief projects, such as clearing rocks.
The independent daily, Haaretz, called for disciplinary action against those officials of the immigration department who involved the newcomers and Israel in a difficulty that was “not in the national interest and dubious from a moral and religious standpoint. ” Haaretz said the ultimate responsibility rested with Jewish officials who arranged the immigration. Yediot Achronot, an afternoon newspaper, asserted that “overzealous representatives” in other countries “must be restrained.”