March 09, 2005

Syria's Jews, "before the myth sets in stone"

Letter in today's Guardian:
With reference to Professor Geoffrey Alderman's letter (March 5), and before the myth becomes set in stone - the Jewish community was not "ethnically cleansed" from Syria. Many left in the early 90s because pressure was put on them to do so by Jewish groups in the US. Financial incentives were offered (one community leader told me that each family was promised $400-600 per month) and visas and green cards were facilitated by the US. Any average Syrian would have found these lures almost irresistible and most of the 5,000-strong Jewish community in Damascus and Aleppo, departed - to the dismay of many in the Syrian government and the diplomatic community.
Brigid Keenan
London
Of course, in the interests of "balance" the Guardian had to grant space to a men sent to lie in the UK for Israel.

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