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J.D.C. Parley Warned of Danger to Jews of North Africa

September 19, 1951
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The threat of rising Arab nationalism to the security of the half million Jews of North Africa was stressed here as representatives of the Joint Distribution Committee from 18 countries, meeting in their fifth annual conference, continued their survey of J.D.C. activities throughout the world and considered programs for action during the coming year.

The conference was told that evacuation of all Jews from the small towns in the interior of Libya and Tripolitania had been completed and that the 8,000 Jews, brought to Tripoli from the interior, should be transferred to Israel at the earliest possible moment.

Reports to the conference emphasized that while considerable progress had been made in improving the health and economic conditions of the Jews in North Africa, their security was now the big question.

Mme. Helen Cazes Benetar, director of the J.D.C. program for North Africa, told the conference that Arab movements for political independence in Libya, Morocco and Tunisia constituted a menace to the Jews there. She pointed out that the North African Jews were entirely dependent on the French and British authorities for protection and warned that action must be taken on behalf of Jews in isolated communities. She paid tribute to Gen. Alphons Juin, retiring Resident-General of Morocco.

Transfer of 3,000 children from the small “chederim” to modern educational installations was reported to the conference which also discussed plans for extending aid to 25,000 Moroccan Jews and a project for aid to Jewish artisans.

A system for control of tuberculosis has been established in Tunisia, the conference was informed, and remarkable progress made in eliminating trachoma among Jews. An apprenticeship program was instituted. Supplies of powdered eggs, milk, butter and cheese from American surpluses helped with the program of hot meals for 6,500 children daily.

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