have lived in this land since biblical times and the communitys
history is intertwined with the history of Jews in the land of Israel.
Jewish population increased significantly after the expulsion of
the Jews from Spain in 1492. Throughout the generations, the main
Jewish communities were to be found in Damascus and Aleppo.
1943, the Jewish community of Syria had 30,000 members. This population
was mainly distributed between Aleppo, where 17,000 Jews lived and
Damascus, which had a Jewish population of 11,000.
In 1945, in an attempt to thwart efforts to establish a Jewish homeland,
the government restricted emigration to Israel, and Jewish property
was burned and looted. Anti-Jewish pogroms erupted in Aleppo in
1947, stimulating 7,000 of the towns 10,000 Jews to flee in
terror. The government then froze Jewish bank accounts and confiscated
after the founding of Israel, as reported in the New York Times
on May 16, 1948: In Syria a policy of economic discrimination
is in effect against Jews. Virtually all Jewish civil
servants in the employ of the Syrian Government have been discharged.
Freedom of movement has been practically abolished.
Special frontier posts have been established to control movements
1949, banks were instructed to freeze the accounts of Jews and all
their assets were expropriated. Over the course of subsequent tears,
the continuing pattern of political and economic strangulation ultimately
caused a total of 15,000 Jews to leave Syria, 10,000 of which emigrated
to the U.S.A. and another 5,000 to Israel.
Shulewitz, Malka Hillel. The Forgotten Millions: The Jewish Exodus
from Arab Lands. Cassell: New York, 1999, p. 52, 53.
Prof. Ada Aharoni, International Forum for Peace and Culture website.