NEW YORK (Oct. 31)
Seven Jews in prison in Syria have been released, Abe Dwek, president of the Committee for the Rescue of Syrian Jewry reported today. He said at least one Jew is still in prison.
Dwek said four of those released are the brothers Albert and Maurice Nusseiri; their cousin, Eli Nusseiri, and Nissim Zayyat. He said the four men and their families had escaped to Lebanon when they were abducted by Syrian agents and returned to Damascus. The men were jailed and tortured, Dwek said.
He noted that Albert Nusseiri was one of the Syrian Jews interviewed by Mike Wallace on CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes” three years ago. He said that Nusseiri said at that time that conditions were good for Jews in Syria and subsequently was arrested for trying to leave the country.
The three other Jews released are teenage brothers, Aaron, Moses and Joseph Guindi. Dwek said they had been arrested three times, twice in the last three months, and tortured.
Dwek said the one Jew still known to be in a Syrian jail is David Kabariti who was arrested after trying to get a visa to the U.S. He charged that an official at the U.S. Consulate in Damascus turned over Kabariti’s false passport to Syrian authorities. Kabariti’s parents and sister are in the U.S. His sister, Sheila, was among the Syrian women allowed to come to the U.S. in July, 1977 because Jewish husbands were not available in Syria.
Dwek said his Committee has sent a cable to David Aaron, President Carter’ Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs, urging him to ask Carter to advise Syrian President Hafez Assad that the U.S. is prepared to receive Syria’s 5000 Jews “as permanent immigrants in this country.” Dwek noted that on the “60 Minutes” program Assad told Wallace that he would allow Syrian Jews to leave if they would emigrate to the U.S. and not go to Israel.