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February 15, 1985 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-02-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

22

Friday, February 15, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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Plight of Syrian Jews:
Light At End Of Tunnel?

BY SIMON GRIVER

Special to The Jewish News

Jerusalem — Syrian Jewry
leads a precarious existence —
confined to ghettos and lacking
the most fundamental human
rights, the country's 4,500 Jews
are used as bargaining counters
and denied the chance of being re-
united with their families in Is-
rael and the West.
The dire oppression Syrian
Jews suffer was discussed at a
conference held in Paris last No-
vember attended by more than
500 delegates from all over the
world. The assembly was or-
ganized jointly by the World
Sephardi Federation, the Ameri-
can Jewish Congress and the
World Zionist Organization.
David Avayou, head of the
WZO's Sephardi Communities
Department, paints a depressing
picture of the situation in Syria:
"At least in the Soviet Union, if a
Jew does not want to identify with
Israel he is left alone," Avayou
said. "This is not the case in Syria.
It would not be an exaggeration to

say that Syrian Jewry live in
more distressing circumstances
than any other Diaspora commu-
nity."
Avayou points out that Syrian
Jews must carry identity cards
with th word "Jew" stamped on it,
whereas other Syrian citizens do

Some people do not
even know that
Syrian Jewry exists."
— David Avayou

not have to have their religion
written on their papers. Jews
have no right to travel either
abroad, or even outside their own
city. They must live in ghettos
that have special police stations
within them and the police closely
monitor movement within the
ghetto and occasionally round up
all the community into the

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