The Final Days of the Jews of Yemen

Lyn Julius writes on Comment is Free:

The last Jews of Yemen are leaving. They are packing their bags and moving to Israel or the US. A community dating back to Biblical times is on the brink of extinction.

Sixty years ago one million Jews lived in Arab countries, but violence and state-sanctioned discrimination scapegoating them as Zionist spies have forced out all but 4,000 – who remain mainly in Yemen, Morocco and Tunisia.

Most Jews were airlifted from Yemen to Israel in the 1950s. The 400 left have resisted moving to Israel, having come under the influence of the non-Zionist Satmar sect. Some returned after a taste of life in the US or Israel (the government generally turns a blind eye to Jews travelling to the Jewish state). Now things have got so bad that even these die-hards are departing.

The murder in December of Moshe al-Nahari, a 30-year-old teacher based in Reda, north of the Yemeni capital, sparked this latest crisis. At first, the authorities claimed that the murderer was “mentally imbalanced”. But it became clear that he was religiously motivated, screaming “convert or die, Jew!” as he pumped five bullets into his victim.

The lesson one draws from the final exodus of the Jews of Yemen is that the Arab world does not even tolerate non-Zionist Jews. There can be no future for the pitiful remnant in Arab lands if their safety cannot be guaranteed.

CiF commentators are on the ball, as always:


07 Jun 09, 10:37am (about 23 hours ago)

Old sins cast long shadows, and it is a pity that Zionists sins are casting their shadows on innocent Yemeni Jews.

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