Without how or with whom he coordinated his plans, Kahana set the wheels in motion for the IDF to make another tally in its history of saving stranded Jews, a list that already made its mark in Yemen and Ethiopia.
Once the time came, three soldiers knocked on the family’s front door.
The last Jewish family remaining in the Syrian city of Aleppo has been rescued in a daring operation, it has been revealed, as regime, rebel and Islamic State forces continue fierce battles for control of the city. . . .Without revealing precisely how or with whom he coordinated his plans, Kahana set the wheels in motion for the latest dramatic rescue of stranded Diaspora Jews by the State of Israel.Once the time came, three rescuers – whose identities have not been revealed – knocked on the family’s front door.
“Moti Kahana did not go in all Special Forces and put them on my back and take them out,” said Kahana, 47. “It was good Syrians who did it. It’s really important to understand that – it was the Muslim people who helped save the Jews.” (The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Absorption also assisted in the rescue.)
One woman, who is referred to as Gilda, was married to a Muslim man and had converted to Islam. While the rest of the family quickly received Israeli identity cards and resettled in Ashkelon, the Jewish Agency informed Gilda that people who voluntarily convert to a religion other than Judaism lose their right of return.
According to Kahana, the two chose to return to Syria rather than remain in a Syrian refugee camp inside of Turkey. He says that he is still working to get them out again, but he is less optimistic about a second operation.
“I am so frustrated with the Sochnut [CAMERA note: Jewish Agency],” he told the Jewish Chronic “They said she is not Jewish enough for us. The Israelis have been trying to hide this story. They screwed up.”
A representative of the Jewish Agency confirmed that Gilda and her husband could not make aliyah because she had converted to Islam, and that the Interior Ministry gave the final order on the case.
However, Jewish Agency spokesman Yigal Palmor said they had been given alternative options to enter Israel, for example by applying for a tourism visa in Istanbul – but the couple declined the offer.
Contrary to standard journalistic practice, editors did not note the changes to the stories.