Iraqi Jews Have Registered to Emigrate but Are Held Back, A.j. Committee Official Says
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Iraqi Jews Have Registered to Emigrate but Are Held Back, A.j. Committee Official Says

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Thousands of Jews have registered for emigration from Iraq but they are not being permitted to leave, the director of the American Jewish Committee’s European office, Zachariah Shuster, told newsmen here. Mr. Shuster said the condition of Jews in the Arab world varied from country to country — in some, they are repressed and live in fear, in others they are unmolested and free to come and go as they please.

Mr. Shuster came to Israel with Philip E. Hoffman, president of the A.J. Committee. Judge Theodore Tennenwald Jr., and Bertram Gold, the organization’s executive vice president. They are on a mission to promote better understanding between Arabs in the occupied territories and Israelis, a task undertaken by the A.J. Committee’s Israel office. They visited Arab leaders in East Jerusalem and on the West Bank. Mr. Hoffman said that the Arabs do not strive to fraternize with Israelis much less integrate. He said this view was expressed most vividly by Anwar Neuseibah, a former Jordanian Defense Minister in East Jerusalem.

Mr. Shuster said that last year Egypt permitted about 100 Jews to leave but that in recent months there has been no sign that it would continue that policy. He described the situation of Jews in Syria as “bad” but in neighboring Lebanon, he said, Jews are free to move about and even go abroad, but they have recently become apprehensive.

According to Mr. Shuster, the 40,000 Jews in Morocco and 50,000 in Tunisia are not discriminated against despite their Government’s anti-Israel policies. Emigration is permitted and many of them go to France he said. In Algeria, the 2,000-member Jewish community is not being molested despite that country’s bitterly anti-Israel stand. In Libya the official attitude toward Jews had been very liberal under the regime of former King Idris. Libyan Jews living abroad were permitted to return periodically to look after their property. But, Mr. Shuster said, the military coup which deposed the King caught 156 Jews in Libya and there has been no word of them. He said their families in Italy are anxious over their fate.

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