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Jewish Businesses in Panama Looted

The major impact of the U.S. military operation in Panama on the country’s tiny Jewish population appeared to be the looting activity that was taking place Wednesday on the streets of Panama City.

Businesses, of which a considerable number are owned by Jews, were being hit Wednesday by roving bands of heavily armed looters, according to Rabbi Morton Rosenthal, director of Latin American affairs for the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, who was in telephone communication with Jews in Panama.

Panama’s Jewish population numbered about 3,800 in 1986, according to the 1989 American Jewish Yearbook. At the time, that represented 0.17 percent of the population.

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