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Senate Approves Resolution Calling on Assad to Let Syrian Jews Emigrate

The Senate has approved a resolution calling on President Hafez Assad of Syria immediately to “permit all members of the Syrian Jewish community to emigrate from Syria to the United States.”

The concurrent resolution, approved unanimously last week, introduced by Sen. Daniel Moynihan (D.NY), noted that Assad stated in an interview in 1976 that he would allow the members of the Syrian Jewish community to emigrate to the U.S.

The resolution also noted Syrian restrictions on travel abroad by Syrian Jews, as well as laws requiring that all Jews bear special identification cards, and restrictions on Jewish rights of inheritance. The Syrian government forbids all members of the Syrian Jewish community the right to emigrate.

International attention focused on the estimated 4,000-member Syrian Jewish community when last December, Lillian Antabi Abadi, a 25-year-old Syrian Jewish woman, was found brutally murdered in Aleppo along with her 6-year-old son, Joseph, and her 3-year-old daughter, Sandy.

“If the authorities in Syria desire to improve the currently poor relationship with this country,” Moynihan said, “then one way to do it would be to permit those members of the Syrian Jewish community who desire to do so to emigrate to the United States.”

Meanwhile, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week also approved a resolution sponsored by Committee chairman Charles Percy (R. III.) and Claiborne Pell (D.RI) condemning the infringement of religious freedom by Warsaw Pact countries. The resolution charges the Soviet Union with having “severely curtailed the right of Jews to study and practice their religion and to adhere to their religious traditions” and urges their right to emigrate.