Jewish mother, daughter make aliya from Syria

According to the Jewish Agency, there are about 20 Jews living in the Syrian capital of Damascus.

March 8, 2015 04:14
1 minute read.

A UN observation tower is seen overlooking Syria, next to the Quneitra border crossing between the Golan Heights in Israel and Syria.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A mother and her daughter escaped from Syria and made aliya to Israel last year, Ma’ariv reported Friday after the news was cleared for publication by the censor.

Their escape via a neighboring country of Syria was facilitated by the Jewish Agency, and the two are now in an absorption center in the South.

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Another daughter, who was turned down, returned to Syria. She had married a Muslim with children from a previous marriage and agreed to convert to Islam by a Muslim cleric. A source familiar with the situation explained that the second daughter’s request was denied because the Law of Return doesn’t recognize the right of Jews who convert to another religion to exercise their right to immigrate to Israel and automatically become a citizen.

According to the Jewish Agency, there are about 20 Jews living in the Syrian capital of Damascus who, thus far, don’t want to leave. The Jerusalem Post reported in July about a large family that also made aliya via the same route.

Aside from Syria, and with the exception of Iran, there are just handfuls of Jews living in Middle Eastern countries: six in Baghdad; a few more in the Kurdistan province of Iraq; and less than 100 in Yemen.

There is growing concern about the individual safety of the members of the small Jewish community in Yemen where rebels supported by Iran control the capital and other districts and cities who are refusing to leave the country, though Jewish organizations are trying to persuade them to change their minds.

Iran has the largest Jewish community with almost 20,000 members, who are free to travel and leave if they want.

In addition to the Jewish Agency, a special unit in the Mossad is involved in monitoring the fate of Jews in Arab and Muslim countries.

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