After Israel's victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, restrictions were further tightened, and 57 Jews in Qamishli may have been killed in a pogrom. The communities of Damascus, Aleppo, and Qamishli were under house arrest for eight months following the war. Many Jewish workers were laid off following the Six-Day War.

In 1954, the Syrian government temporarily lifted the ban on Jewish emigration; Jews who left had to leave all their property to the government. After the first group of Jewish emigrants left for Turkey in November 1954, emigration was swiftly banned again. In 1958, when Syria joined the United Arab Republic, Jewish emigration was temporarily permitted again, again on condition that those leaving relinquish all their property, but it was soon prohibited again. In 1959, people accused of helping Jews escape Syria were brought to trial.

As a result, Syrian Jews began escaping clandestinely, and supporters abroad helped smuggle Jews out of Syria. Syrian Jews already living abroad often bribed officials to help Jews escape. Judy Feld Carr, a Canadian-Jewish activist, helped smuggle 3,228 Jews out of Syria to Israel, the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Carr recalled that Syrian-Jewish parents were "desperate" to get their children out of the country. Those who were caught attempting to escape faced execution or forced labor. If an escape was successful, family members could be imprisoned and stripped of their property. Often with the help of smugglers, escapees attempted to sneak across the border into Lebanon or Turkey, where they were met and assisted by undercover Israeli agents or local Jewish communities. Most escapees were young and single men. Many single men decided to put off marriage until they escaped, as they wanted to raise their children in freedom. As a result, the ratio of single men and women became heavily imbalanced, and Syrian Jewish women were often unable to find husbands. In 1977, Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, as a gesture to US President Jimmy Carter, began allowing limited numbers of young women to leave the country, and some 300 left in total under this program.

In 1974, four Jewish girls were raped, murdered and mutilated after attempting to flee to Israel. Their bodies were discovered by border police in a cave in the Zabdani Mountains northwest of Damascus along with the remains of two Jewish boys, Natan Shaya 18 and Kassem Abadi 20, victims of an earlier massacre. Syrian authorities deposited the bodies of all six in sacks before the homes of their parents in the Jewish ghetto in Damascus.

The Zeibak sisters: Four Syrian-Jewish girls (three sisters and their cousin) who were raped, killed, and mutilated while trying to flee to Israel in 1974


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They did not mean that in a bad way.




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