1948 Egyptian Alexandria Jewish girls during Bat Mitzva.

Egyptian Alexandria Jewish choir of Rabbin Moshe Cohen at Samuel Menashe synagogue. Alexandria.

After the foundation of Israel in 1948, difficulties multiplied for Egyptian Jews. That year, bombings of Jewish areas killed 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200, while riots claimed many more lives. During the Arab-Israeli war, the famous Cicurel department store near Cairo's Opera Square was firebombed. The government helped with funds to rebuild it, but it was again burnt down in 1952, and eventually passed into Egyptian control.

The Lavon Affair of 1954, in which an Israeli sabotage operation designed to discredit Gamal Abdel Nasser and perhaps also to derail secret negotiations with Egypt proposed by Moshe Sharett, blew up Western targets (without causing deaths), led to deeper distrust of Jews, from whose community key agents in the operation had been recruited. In his summing up statement Fu’ad al-Digwi, the prosecutor at their trial, repeated the official government stance:

'The Jews of Egypt are living among us and are sons of Egypt. Egypt makes no difference between its sons whether Moslems, Christians, or Jews. These defendants happen to be Jews who reside in Egypt, but we are trying them because they committed crimes against Egypt, although they are Egypt's sons.'
Though not one person was killed in the Lavon affair, two members of the ring, Dr. Moussa Marzouk and Shmuel Azzar, received a death sentence. By contrast, six members from Dr. Marzouk's extended family were killed in the 1948 massacres, and yet no one was arrested.[citation needed] In 1953, a cousin of Dr. Marzouk, Kamal Massuda, was killed in cold blood, and the authorities did not make arrests.

Other members of the sabotage rings had families who lost their livelihood after the notorious 1947 Company Law was implemented.
In the immediate aftermath of trilateral invasion during the Suez Crisis of 1956, on November 23 by Britain France and Israel, a proclamation was issued stating that 'all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state', and it promised that they would be soon expelled. Some 25,000 Jews, almost half of the Jewish community left, mainly for Europe, the United States and South America, and Israel, after being forced to sign declarations that they were leaving voluntarily, and agreed with the confiscation of their assets. Some 1,000 more Jews were imprisoned. Similar measures were enacted against British and French nationals in retaliation for the invasion. In Joel Beinin's summary: "Between 1919 and 1956, the entire Egyptian Jewish community, like the Cicurel firm, was transformed from a national asset into a fifth column."

After the 1967 war, more confiscations took place. Rami Mangoubi, who lived in Cairo at the time, states that nearly all Egyptian Jewish men between the ages of 17 and 60 were either thrown out of the country immediately, or taken to the detention centres of Abou Za'abal and Tura, where they were incarcerated and tortured for more than three years. The eventual result was the almost complete disappearance of the Jewish community in Egypt; less than a hundred or so remain today. Most Egyptian Jews fled to Israel (35,000), Brazil (15,000), France (10,000), the US (9,000) and Argentina (9,000).[citation needed] Today, anti-Jewish feelings run high in Egypt, and is common in the media. The last Jewish wedding in Egypt took place in 1984.


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