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Egyptian Chief Rabbi Reportedly Says Jews Blame Israel for ‘miseries’

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The 500 Egyptian Jews arrested in the aftermath of the June, 1967 Middle East war have all been released but Jews remaining in Egypt are deeply resentful of Israel which they blame for “all our miseries,” the North African weekly “Jeune Afrique” said in a purported interview with the Chief Rabbi of Egypt, Haim Douek. The magazine, published here, quoted the rabbi as having said that “there was never any Jewish problem here (in Egypt) before the Zionists came to the region. Before the war there were 80,000 Jews in Egypt. Our synagogues were never closed. We were never disturbed in the practice of our faith.” The rabbi reportedly said that there are now no more than 2,000 Jews in Egypt and that the release of the imprisoned Jews followed his personal intervention with the Ministry of Interior. The magazine said that Cairo Jews are apprehensive over their future and many plan to leave. It referred to a Jewish teacher who allegedly said he would emigrate to Canada or Australia but “never to Israel because all our misery came from there.”

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