NEW YORK (Jul. 31)
The World Organization of Jews from Arab Countries (WOJAC) branded the recent invitation by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Jews who had formerly lived in Egypt to return to that country as “nothing but hypocrisy intended to mislead public opinion.” Norma Balass, WOJAC’s executive director, reminded Sadat that in 1947, Egypt’s United Nations representative threatened the Jews then living in Israel with imminent massacre. “The Jews from Egypt will never again let Egypt make them hostages of Arab brutality,” she said.
Ms. Balass pointed out that as a result of anti-Jewish measures, only five percent of Egyptian Jews had had Egyptian citizenship. During the period from 1956 to 1958, she said, the Egyptian government enacted laws that indicated clearly its implacable enmity towards Jews. Today, there are only about 400 Jews still living there out of a Jewish population of 80,000 in 1949, she noted.
“The government of Egypt went to great lengths,” Ms. Balass said, “to make sure that the Jews left stripped of all their possessions.” Among those Jews, she stated, were many whose families had lived in Egypt for centuries and who had repeatedly petitioned for citizenship.