have lived in Lebanon since ancient times. King Herod the Great,
in the 1st century CE supported the Jewish community in Beirut.
the first half of the 20th century, the Jewish community expanded
tremendously due to immigration from Greece, and Turkey, and later
from Syria and Iraq.
were instances of rioting and incitement around the time of the
establishment of the State of Israel. As reported in the New York
Times on May 16, 1948:
Lebanon Jews have been forced to contribute financially to the
fight against the United Nations partition resolution on Palestine.
Acts of violence against Jews are openly admitted by the press,
which accuses Jews of poisoning wells, etc.
the mid-50s, approximately 7,000 Jews lived in Beirut. Compared
to Islamic countries, the Christian-Arab rule, which characterized
the political structure of this country, conducted a policy of relative
tolerance towards its Jewish population. Nevertheless, being in
such close physical proximity to the enemy state Israel,
Lebanese Jews felt insecure and decided to emigrate in 1967, leaving
for France, Israel, Italy, England and South America.
1974, 1,800 Jews remained in Lebanon, the majority concentrated
in Beirut. Fighting in the 1975-76 Muslim-Christian civil war swirled
around the Jewish Quarter in Beirut, damaging many Jewish homes,
businesses and synagogues. Most of the remaining 1,800 Lebanese
Jews emigrated in 1976, fearing the growing Syrian presence in Lebanon
would curtail their freedom of emigration. Today an estimated 150
Jews remain in Lebanon.
Sand, Jay. The Jews of Africa: Morocco. www.mindspring.com/~jaypsand/morocco.htm;
and Patai, Raphael. The Vanished Worlds of Jewry. Macmillan Publishing
Co. Inc.: New York, 1980; and Prof. Ada Aharoni, International Forum
for Peace and Culture website.