A group of Jews from Brooklyn recently visited the Syrian capital Damascus with the support of the Assad regime, the Kan public broadcaster reports.
The 12 Jewish New Yorkers are natives of Syria who left the country decades ago, according to the report.
One group member claims the visit was partially to receive dental treatment because it is far cheaper in Syria than the US.
The visitors reportedly met privately with a handful of Jews who still live in Damascus and received a request to meet with senior government officials, although that meeting did not materialize.
The New Yorkers were welcomed by the city residents.
“Everyone understood from our language that we were Syrian Jews, everyone remembered us,” one visitor tells Kan.
“We went to shops in every place. They got to know us and said to us, ‘Welcome, this is your country, why aren’t you coming back? Look what happened to the country, please come back.’”
— اسف جيبور assaf gibor (@assafgibor) November 9, 2021