Saturday, July 11, 2015

Israeli Druze minister in touch with Syrian Jew

It is tempting to take this news item from the Jerusalem Post with a pinch of salt: as far as is known, Aleppo has not had any Jewish residents for some years, and the number of Jews in Damascus  has been fewer than 20.  Certainly, Ayub Kara's figure for Jews in Bahrain is wrong: there are not 7, but 35. His message, however, is clear: 'Jews and Druze are allies'. 

The now destroyed Eliyahu Hanabi synagogue at Jobar
Likud Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, the acting minister of the Regional Cooperation Ministry, spoke with a Syrian Jewish leader who informed him that there has been a sharp drop in the numbers of Jews in two main cities in Syria.

Out of around 140 Jews who lived in Damascus, the capital, and the city of Aleppo, only about 50 remain, the unidentified Jewish leader told Kara on Tuesday.

In Aleppo, there are only eight women and no men.

Kara told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Wednesday that the Syrian Jews are reticent and scared of speaking freely, adding that he is one of the few people from Israel in touch with them.

The Syrian Jews are interested in speaking with me, a Druse, he said, because they have close relations with the Druse community there, which also is under threat from Islamic State and other Islamists.

Most of the Jews in Syria are elderly and so it is difficult for them to flee, he said.

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