JERUSALEM (Oct. 8)
The Chief Rabbinate of Israel appealed today “to the conscience of all mankind” to demand an end to “the reign of black terror” that has been unleashed against the Jews in several Arab countries and for which the governments of those countries are held directly responsible.
The appeal, signed by Chief Rabbi Isser Untermann, will be distributed to thousands of churchmen, public figures and heads of humanitarian agencies. It details the “daily torture, beatings and humiliations” suffered by Jewish citizens of the Arab countries, often at the hands of former Nazis.
“All Jewish men in Egypt have been imprisoned, including the seriously ill,” the Chief Rabbinate declared. “In Cairo harsh restrictions have been imposed upon Jews who have not been imprisoned. Those that are imprisoned have had their hands and ribs broken, their hair shaven and their eyebrows pulled out. In some cases they are in the custody of ex-Nazis who have found a haven in Egypt.
“Synagogues have been seized and prayers proscribed. The Chief Rabbi of Alexandria is in prison and Cairo’s Chief Rabbi is under house arrest as is the president of the Ashkenazi Jewish community. In Syria, Jewish quarters have been attacked by mobs and a curfew has been imposed on the ghettos which are threatened with starvation, Damascus Jews have been thrown out of their homes which have been given to Palestinians. In Iraq, dozens of Jews have been arrested on trumped up charges of spying for Israel and police have exhorted money from Jews. The secret police has begun to threaten Jews with expropriating and murder.”
“The severe loss of life, liberty and property sustained by Jews,” the Chief Rabbinate’s statement continued, “are the direct result of governmental responsibility. Attempts by international agencies to halt or at least modify the reign of terror have been contemptuously rebuffed by the Arab governments concerned. Therefore,” the Chief Rabbinate stated, “we direct this passionate appeal from Jerusalem to the conscience of all mankind to raise its voice and demand instant action to stamp out this inhuman, cruel and uncivilized wave of oppression directed against our people by governments that give lip-service to the United Nations Charter.”