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Two Groups Call on Syria to Grant Jews There Full Freedom

April 10, 1974
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Committee of Concern for Syrian and Iraqi Jewry here and the Central Conference of American Rabbis in New York issued statements this weekend calling on Syrian authorities to grant Jews in that country full freedom, including the right to emigrate, following news reports that four Jewish women and two Jewish men have recently been murdered.

W. Thacher Longstreth, president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Committee of Concern, stated in a letter to Haissam Kelani, Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, that the right of Jews to leave Syria “is a fundamental humanitarian question and should not be confused with political issues in the Middle East.”

He noted that the two young men, Yussef Shaluh and Azur Zalta, who are being held by Syrian authorities in connection with the murder of the four Jewish women, “are being utilized as scape-goats by the Syrians in order to divert world attention from the plight of the Jewish community.” The two men, Longstreth said, “are both outstanding members of the Jewish community, known for their devotion to the welfare of their harassed brethren.”

Rabbi Joseph B. Glaser, executive vice-president of the CCAR, and Rabbi Stephen S. Goldrich of Cleveland, chairman of the CCAR’s Committee on Jews in Arab Lands, called for an international campaign to free Syrian Jews and noted that the 1100 Reform rabbis of the CCAR and their 715 synagogues in North America were being mobilized to join with like-minded groups in their communities in an all-out campaign “until Syrian Jews are permitted their human rights of free emigration.”

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