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Lebanese Jews


    When Christian Arabs ruled Lebanon, Jews enjoyed relative toleration. In the mid-50ís, approximately 7,000 Jews lived in Beirut. As Jews in an Arab country, however, their position was never secure, and the majority left in 1967. 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. In the mid-1980's, Hezbollah kidnapped several prominent Jews from Beirut most were leaders of what remained of the country's tiny Jewish community. Four of the Jews were later found murdered. Nearly all of the remaining Jews are in Beirut. Because of the current political situation, Jews are unable to openly practice Judaism. In Beirut there is a committee that represents the community.


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