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Jewish Congress Reports on Position of Jews in North Africa

December 18, 1952
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The 360, 000 Jews living in the French North African protectorates of Tunisia and Morocco face the most precarious political, social end economic conditions, it was revealed in a study of the Jewish communities, released today by the World Jewish Congress. These problems have been intensified in the current bid for independence to French North Africa, which has seen extensive local violence.

The report, prepared by the World Jewish Congress’ Institute of Jewish Affairs, reveals that the Jews of Tunisia are somewhat better situated than those in Morocco, due to the fact that Tunisia has been a French protectorate since 1881 — some 30 years longer than Morocco. In Tunisia, Jews not only enjoy the same rights of citizenship as do Moslems, but a large number of them, having become naturalized French citizens, enjoy the same status and privileges as Europeans.

However, the vast majority of the Jews of both countries suffer from social and economic harassment, the report says. It emphasizes that in Morocco, only 33 percent of the Jewish population is gainfully employed and 35 percent are in need of relief. In Tunisia, only about half of the Jews — those living in Tunis –enjoy any status of equality. Those in the provinces are still subjected to economic boycott, hoodlums and other persecutions.

In issuing the report, Dr. Israel Goldstein, president of the American Jewish Congress, expressed the hope that both the French Government and the United Nations, as well as the responsible nationalist leaders, would do everything within their power to safeguard the rights of the minority groups in North Africa.

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