Jews in Algeria 05: 1947-1970: war of independence - Six-Day war - exodus
Jewish organizations - Jews between the fronts of Algerian and French nationalists - emigration movement 1961-1963 because of French citizenship - anti-Jewish boycott since 1965 - emigration movement of the young Jews
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Algeria, vol. 2, col. 617-618, table of the Jewish population in Algeria 1838-1968
from: Algeria; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 2
presented by Michael Palomino (2007)
[New Jewish organizations]
During the postwar period a number of Jewish organizations were formed in Algeria. The Fédération des Communautés Israélites d'Algérie [[Algerian Israelite Communities Federation]] was established in April 1947 for the purpose of defending Algerian Jewry and safeguarding its religious institutions.
*ORT was founded in 1946 in Algiers and Constantine; the Ecole Rabbinique d'Algérie [[Rabbinic School of Algeria]], established in 1947, began its activities in 1948; the Comité Juif Algérien d'Etudes Sociales [[Jewish Algerian Committee of Social Work]], formed after World War I, resumed its activities in 1948 and published a monthly, Information Juive [["Jewish News"]], from 1948 to April 1962 in Algiers and from September 1963 in Paris.
Although the formal structure of the Algerian community resembled the French pattern centering around legally sanctioned "religious associations", in practice each kehillah [[Jewish community]] functioned autonomously. Until 1961 the Fédération united 60 different communities. Thereafter the communal structure underwent a gradual disintegration and communal life became primarily a function of local customs and traditions. (col. 617)
[1956-1963: War of independence: escalation - the Jews are between the fronts - Jews don't want Algerian nationality - murdered Jews by the F.L.N. and by the O.A.S.]
The fate of the community was fundamentally determined by the Algerian nationalist struggle for independence. Tragically caught between two violently opposed forces the marginal position of the Jews in Algerian society exposed them to constant danger.
The conflict had already become clear in August 1956 when the F.L.N. (Front de Libération Nationale - the Algerian National Liberation Front; organization dedicated to achieving Algerian independence) appealed to the "Algerians of Jewish origin" who "have not yet overcome their troubled consciences, or have not decided which side they will choose" to opt for Algerian nationality.
Jewish fears increased when, on February 18, 1958 two emissaries of the Jewish Agency were kidnapped and assassinated by the F.L.N.
In December 1960 the Great Synagogue of Algiers was desecrated and the Jewish cemetery in Oran was defiled. The son of William Levy, a Jewish socialist leader was killed by the F.L.N. and subsequently Levy was also assassinated by the O.A.S. (Organisation Armée Secrète - a counter-terror organization opposed to an independent Algeria).
[Jewish hopes for a partition system or dual nationality - Jewish emancipation to French customs]
Until 1961 the majority of Algerian Jews had hoped that partition or a system of dual nationality would obviate the conflict. As the struggle developed, however, they increasingly feared that popular reaction would be directed against them not only as Europeans but as Jews and Zionists. Consequently, although the community never adopted an official anti-independence position, in March 1961 a delegation from the Comité Juif Algérien d'Etudes Sociales urged that the negotiations then in prospect should obtain official recognition of the French nature of the Algerian Jewish community. (Later it was agreed in Evian to treat Jewish Algerians as "Europeans").
By the 1960s the "Gallicization" of the large mass of Algerian Jews had developed to the point where both their emotional allegiances and cultural predispositions were largely French. The resulting diminution of Jewish observances did not, however, reflect a positive integration into the Algerian French community which was less a community than a settlement of colons. Fundamentally, however, the separate identity of the community was maintained by the system of status inherent in Islamic (col. 618)
society where religion and family and not formal nationality and cultural behaviour were the determinative factors. The term "Frenchman" in Algeria did not apply to either Arab or Jew.
[1961-1962: Civil war in Algeria also in Jewish sections - Jewish and French emigration to France and Israel: 75,000 Jews leaving]
The F.L.N. and O.A.S. reign of terror and counter-terror in 1961 and 1962 had catastrophic consequences for the Jewish community. As elsewhere in North Africa the Jewish quarters often straddled the European and Arab sections. These quarters often sustained the first and sometimes only Muslim reprisals after attacks by European terrorists on the Muslim quarters. These often degenerated into pitched battles between the two communities, especially their youth.
Throughout this period there was a steady flow of emigration of Jews from Algeria. The rate of emigration rose steeply in mid-1962 when, as a result of O.A.S. violence, the community feared that the proclamation of independence would precipitate a Muslim outburst. By the end of July 1962, 70,000 Jews had left for France and another 5,000 for Israel.
France treated the Algerian Jews on an equal footing with the non-Jewish repatriates. The United Jewish Social Fund made extraordinary efforts to help the refugees. In the course of a few months, no fewer than 32,000 refugees arrived in Paris and the nearby communities. Many Jewish refugees from southern Algeria found a haven in Strasbourg and its vicinity and were gradually integrated into the life with the aid of the existing Jewish community. It is estimated that some 80% of the Algerian Jews settled in France.
[since 1963: Ben Bella regime]
After Algeria achieved its independence, all its Jews who held French citizenship retained it, except for a few isolated cases. The regime of Ben Bella maintained a correct relationship with the Jews. During the years 1963-65, the minister of culture addressed the Jewish congregation at the synagogue of Algiers on the Day of Atonement.
In February 1964 a General Assembly was held at Oran by the Jewish communities of Algeria, which elected Charles Hababou as its president.
[since 1965: Boumédienne regime: taxes - discrimination measures - protection abrogated - anti-Jewish boycott movement]
After Houari Boumédienne rose to power in 1965 the situation rapidly deteriorated. Heavy taxes were imposed on the Jews, and discrimination of various kinds betrayed the anti-Jewish tendencies of the government. That rabbis no longer received their salaries from the state was explained by the fact that they had not become Algerian nationals. The Chief Court of Justice declared that the Jews were no longer under the protection of the law, and an intensive economic boycott was instituted against Jewish merchants.
The police engineered a libel suit against Hababou on the grounds that he had connections with Zionism. In September 1966, as the result of a case brought before the Economic Court, Désié Drai was condemned to death together with two non-Jews; but whereas he was executed on the day of Rosh Ha-Shanah, the two others were pardoned.
[1967: Six-Day War - press attacks]
On June 5, 1967 the Algerian press launched a violent attack against Israel and the Jews. The walls of the synagogues of Algiers and other Jewish communities were defaced.
[1965-1970: constant emigration of the young Jews - abandoned property of the Jewish communities]
With one exception, all the synagogues in the country were taken over and converted into mosques, and the Jewish cemeteries of the country fell into decay. By 1969 fewer than one thousand Jews remained in Algeria. Most of the young men and women left, and thus there were hardly any marriages. The property of the Jewish communities was abandoned.
Table. Jewish populaiton in Algeria
736 936 1,601 3,015 2,050
from: Algeria; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. 2, col. 617-618
Relations with Israel.
On gaining independence, Algeria joined the *Arab League and fully participated in its conferences against Israel. On June 5, 1967, Algeria along with other Arab states declared war on Israel, sending military (col. 619)
assistance to Egypt. Even the Egyptian acceptance of ceasefire was denounced by Algerian mobs. Consequently, President Boumédienne pressed the U.S.S.R. to adopt a firmer anti-Israel policy, gaining "a firm commitment to wipe out traces of the aggression", as well as to give military aid, some of which was subsequently channeled to Egypt.
On July 23, 1968, the P.F.L.P. ("Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine") hijacked an l Al plane to Algeria. The plane, the crew, and its male Israel passengers were kept under detention for several weeks and only released in return for terrorists being held by Israel. Algeria adopted an extreme attitude among the anti-Israel Arab factions, and gave full support to the Palestinians terrorists.
[R.AT.] (col. 620)
[[The Jewish ant-Muslim Herzl Zionist terrorism since 1896 with the booklet "The Jewish State", the Jewish aim of a "Greater Israel" (of a "Jewish Empire") with the Nile and the Euphrates as its border lines according to First Mose book, chapter 15, phrase 18, the violations of Palestinian women by the racist Zionist Jewish army, the expulsions of Palestinians from Palestine and the desert concentration camps for Palestinians, the schooling of hatred against all Arabs, and all other Zionist Jewish terrorism and discriminations against Palestinians and Arabs in Palestine are not mentioned in Encyclopaedia Judaica, because Encyclopaedia Judaica is a Zionist book]].
(from: Algeria; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 2)
-- A. Cahen: Les Juifs dans l'Afrique septentrionale (1867), passim
-- I. Bloch: Inscriptions Tumulaires des Anciens Cimetières d'Alger (1888)
-- N. Slouschz: Travels in North Africa (1927), 295-343
-- M. Ansky: Les Juifs d'Algérie (1950)
-- A. Chouraqui: Between East and West (1968)
-- R. Attal, in: Bi-Tefuzot ha-Golah (1961), 14-20
-- idem, in: Sefunot, 5 (1961), 465-508
-- Hirschberg, Afrikah
-- idem, in: Journal of African History (1963), 313-9
BERBER-ARAB RULE (680-1516)
-- I. Epstein (ed.): Responsa of Rabbi Simon b. Zemah Duran (1930)
-- R. Brunschvig: La Berbérie Orientale sous les Hafsides, 1 (1940), 396-430)
-- A.M. Hershman: Rabbi Isaac en Sheshet Perfet and his Times (1943)
-- Hirschberg, in: Tarbiz, 26 (1956/57), 370-83
-- Corcos, in: JQR, 54 (1963/64), 275-9; 55 (1964/65), 67-78
-- idem, in: Zion, 32 (1967), 135-60
-- C.E. Dufourcq: L'Espagne Catalane et le Magrib aux XIIIe et XIVe siècles (1965), passim
TURKISH RULE (1516-1830)
-- J.M. Haddey: Le Livre d'or des Israélites Algériens (1872)
-- R.L. Playfair: The Scourge of Christendom (1884)
-- passim: M. Eisenbeth, in: Revue Africaine (1952), 112-87, 343-84
-- Mainz, in: JA, 240 (1952), 197-217
-- Rosenstock, in: JSOS, 14 (1952), 343-64; HJ, 18 (1956), 3-26
FRENCH RULE UP TO 1948
-- C. Frégier: Les Israélites Algériens (1965)
-- Féraud, in: Revue Africaine (1874), 30ff.
-- J. Cohen: Les Israélites de l'Algérie et le Décret Crémieux (1900)
-- J. Hanoune: Aperçu sur les Israélites Algériens (1922)
-- C. Martin: Les Israélites Algériens de 1830 à 1902 (1936)
-- M. Abulker: Alger et ses Complots (1945)
-- Mainz, in: PAAJR, 21 (1952), 63-73; HJ, 18 (1956), 27-40
-- J.F. Aumerot: L'Antisémitisme à Alger (1885)
-- E. Drumont: La France Juive, 2 (1886), 4ff.
-- G. Meyné: L'Algérie Juive (1887)
-- G.R. Rouanet: L'Antisémitisme Algérien (1900)
-- L. Durieu: Les Juifs Algériens, 1870-1901 (1902)
-- Brunschvig, in: Revue d'Alger, 1 no. 2 (1944), 57-79
-- M. Eisenbeth: Pages Vécues, 1940-1943 (1945)
-- Szajkowski, in: JSOS, 10 (1948), 257-80
-- JC (Oct. 19, 1962, June 12, 1964, Aug. 30, 1968)
-- Congress bi-Weekly, vol. 35, no. 15 (1964), 9-11
-- L'Arche, no. 40 (1960), 24
-- Information Juive, 139 (Sept. 1963), 3; 151 (Dec.-Jan. 1965), 6; 185 (Aug.-Sept. 1868), 7;
-- Mandel, in: AJYB, 64 (1963), 403-11; 65 (1964) 326-30; 66 (1965) 478-83; 67 (1966) 441-4
-- idem, in: Commentary, 35 (June 1963), 475-82
-- In the Dispersion, 5-6 (1966), 318-20 (list of articles)> (col. 620)
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Algeria
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Algeria, vol. 2, col. 612
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Algeria, vol. 2, col. 613-614
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Algeria, vol. 2, col. 615-616
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Algeria, vol. 2, col. 617-618
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Algeria, vol. 2, col. 619-620