I read with much astonishment the letter written by Alice Harary Sardell reacting to an article concerning the rescue of the Jews from Syria in the nineties of last century which appeared in The Times of Israel on August 25th, 2013.
During my diplomatic career, I was the director of the World Jewish Affairs Department at the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs in the period October 1990-August 1993. In that function I had to deal with the Jewish Communities in the world and especially with the Jewish communities in distress. During that period I paid a working visit to Toronto in order to meet Mrs. Judy Feld Carr – this upon recommendation of the Israeli intelligence community. I was very impressed by the background information received before my visit and subsequently by the meeting with Judy.
As it happened, I became the Israeli Consul-General for Toronto and Western Canada and served in that capacity from September 1995-December 1999. In neither of the above mentioned periods, did I hear or read about – according to Ms. Harary Sardell – successful work done by the Council for Rescue of the Syrian Jewry. You can be assured that I would have been made aware of this. In addition to the rescue of so many people, I remember, for example, receiving from Judy a number of very old Sifrei Tora and very ancient printed commentaries which she had smuggled out of Syria and which had belonged to the Syrian Jewish Community and were transferred by me secretly to the suitable authorities in Israel.
A further point I would like to make is that if Israeli Presidents or Prime Ministers honor persons, in the way they honored Judy Feld Carr, there must certainly be a reason for this. I do not dispute the numbers of the Syrian Jews who have been saved by either Judy or the above mentioned Council, as I am not privy to those numbers. I can, however, confirm that I met quite a number of persons saved by Judy.