VIENNA (Jul. 8)
The June, 1967 Arab-Israel war created a Jewish refugee crisis that placed new burdens on the rescue, relief and rehabilitation programs carried out by the Joint Distribution Committee and other Jewish agencies, the JDC’s director-general Louis D. Horowitz said here today. Mr. Horowitz spoke to 90 members of the 1968 United Jewish Appeal young leadership mission which came here to review the activities of the JDC, ORT and the United Hias Service, all beneficiaries of the UJA.
Mr. Horowitz said that as a direct result of the June war, the 3,000 Jews remaining in Libya fled to Italy and 20,000 Jews left Morocco and Tunisia for France. In addition, he said, severe hardships were imposed on the 8,500 Jews who remain trapped in Egypt, Syria and Iraq, while the Polish Government’s suspension of JDC and ORT welfare activities left Poland’s 18,000 mostly elderly Jews without needed aid.
Mr. Horowitz said that the Middle East crisis underlined the long term importance of France, Italy and Austria as the principal European countries where Jewish refugees can find haven. “The insecurity that haunts the Jews of North Africa coupled with the unpredictable migration policies of the Eastern European countries means that the JDC and other international Jewish relief agencies continue to work in a climate of crisis,” Mr. Horowitz said. He added, however, that “as long as these havens exist, we can be grateful that Jews can get to places where we can reach them and help them on the spot.”