Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Jews of Yemen

Jews of Yemen on the road to extinction
Ghamdan Adakkimi 

Feb 2, 2015

~~Just as happened in most Arab countries, it seems that there will be no Jews in Yemen
~~The number of Jews in Yemen declined dramatically declined from more than 50 thousand Jews before the announcement of the state of Israel to 250 in 2010

That much of the Jewish minority in Yemen further harassment, hatred and deprivation contributed greatly to the decrease in the number of Yemeni Jews who do not exceed the rest of them only dozens seems and this is what reflects the trend to cancel any other religions or religious minorities after the Jews were the rulers of Yemen in an important stage of history.

"The question of Jewish and Jewish issue in Yemen is dealing with it very, very lightly and without the responsibility and the study of (...) We dealt with the Jewish cause hostility without understanding, without knowledge, without the knowledge," says Chairman of the General Authority of the book and the captain of former Yemeni Journalists, Bari Taher, stressing the lack of awareness Yemenis that the Jewish religion is part of ancient history.

Historians and researchers go on to say that the Jewish community in Yemen, one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, noting that "Yemen is the cradle of Judaism," in the words of Dr. Kamal Salibi. He says Bari Taher to pier 22: "State Himyarite Cycle- before Islam, has is that united Yemen real standardized, and was on the Jewish religion and not in what it wrong."

Yemeni Jews form an essential part of the fabric of Yemen, but managed to coexist peacefully with Muslims for centuries, particularly since the Muslims entered Yemen in 628 AD, as it ensured them full rights of the Islamic religion and imposed on them the tribute, as the imposition of zakat on the adherents of the religion of Islam. The notorious since ancient exercise handicrafts, most notably the drafting of gold and silver.

In contrast, the Jews of Yemen subjected to harassment and persecution in different periods, by some of the Yemeni Islamist militants and specifically, as a result of backwardness and ignorance. The declaration of the state of Israel in 1948 resulted in the displacement of more than 50 thousand Yemeni Jew, in a campaign called "Flying Carpet", as one of the most important Zionist conspiracies, according to Bari Taher. Before and after the Zionist immigration organizations sought to displace the Jews to Palestine and Yemen to Israel or the United States and Britain in small batches.

And the most important factors that have contributed, and still is, the success of this displacement "forced" according to the researchers and those interested, a specialist in Jewish community affairs journalist Mahmoud Taha says Pier 22: "the most important factors, lack of political and economic stability and the deterioration of the security situation, in addition to violations suffered by Jews in recent years, most notably the death of Harun al-Zindani in the capital Sanaa and Masha in the daytime rosette Amran governorate end of 2008 ".

And put the displacement of dozens of Jews who were living in the village of "Al Salem" in Saada province by a group Houthis in 2007, a watershed in the biography of the life of the people of this community incident, prompting the authorities of Yemen to take them to the "tourist city" at the Sheraton neighborhood east of the capital Sanaa , near the US embassy.

Taha said "the decline of the tribe to provide protection to the Jews (as a vulnerable group), and the proliferation of armed Houthi movement, which raises the slogan" Fuck the Jews ", exacerbating the deteriorating situation currently whom the rest of the Yemenite Jews", in reference to fears of extinction of this community once and for all from Yemen .

Coexistence is fragile and many problems

Frequently talk about what has changed in the lives of members of this community, as well as the atmosphere of co-existence of all religions in one country, as the majority of the population (about 24 million people) are Muslims.

Yemen says a researcher at the Minority Affairs Fouad top: "the number of Jews in Yemen is very large and the incline of about 5,000 thousand in 1990 to 250 in 2010". Confirms Mahmoud Taha, the number of Jews remaining in Yemen currently does not exceed 70 members; eight of them in the "doted" area in Amran governorate, and nearly 60 in the tourist city of the capital Sanaa. While Rabbi Yahya Yusuf Musa says that the number of the rest of them is up to 150 individuals.

Pat decreasing the number of Jews among the community is a matter of astonishment, and this exposes them to community harassment on the one hand and deprived of their basic rights Khakhm in education and the right to public office on the other hand, according to the scholar Fouad Alaoui, who added to the pier 22: "You can not talk about coexistence now because of the rest of the Jews isolated in the tourist city and under the supervision and guarding Mshiddtan, and when one of them went in 2011 to the outside of the residential city, Anonymous attacked him stabbed to death even killed him. "

In addition to the above, the problems experienced by the rest of the children of the Jewish community about the problems of Yemenis in general is no different, as the majority ruled by poverty, especially after the extinction of the professions that they did Kalhaddadh, carpentry, and the formulation of gold, silver, leather tanning, and others. But more importantly, remains the lack of a private school authorities for the children of this community, and this is what drives some to send their children to the United States, Britain or Israel to study while others only teach them the Jewish religion through the book "Torah," the Hebrew language in private places.

And forced sectarian mobilization and harassment in the streets the majority of Jews on the Cut "Znanaarham" (two curls of hair dangling on the side of the face), which is part of their religious faith. During our visit to Rabbi Yahya Yusuf Musa in his apartment in the city, we noticed that the "sashes" just hanging on both sides of the face of the largest Jewish rabbis Joseph Moses (bedridden because of suffering a stroke).

In addition, do not receive any Jew monthly salary as an employee of the state administration, with the exception of Rabbi Yahya Yusuf Musa, one of the Jews "Al Salem" displaced from the province of Saada.

He Yahya Moussa pier 22 that all Jews living in Sanaa unemployed for lack of special tools handicrafts which were Izawlunha. [?]  However, he pointed to the authorities' continued commitment to providing residential apartments and food, as well as five thousand riyals per month (US $ 23) for each one of them was a small or large, the introduction of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh since 2007.

Places of worship are free

Despite the fact the bad and the abuses they have suffered, the people of this community avoids signal a hint or a statement to what might anger the authorities and the Muslim majority in the country against them, but do not seem to have the feelings of appreciation and praise. They practice their religion freely rituals, and celebrating with a number of religious occasions and holidays notably Kippur holiday and festival in April, and Hbuaat, and Akkakr, and Sakkat ... but they refuse to mention the details of the exercise of their religion.

Rabbi Yahya Moussa does not hide their lack of places of worship in the capital Sanaa, because of their small number, he says, "we do our prayers (morning and sunset, and the prayer after sunset) in clean places which serve as places of worship."

Not valid congregational prayer in Judaism, but from the presence of a dozen people and above, and if this number is not available, every Jew should pray individually at home. Mahmoud Taha says, "no longer exercise any religious ritual for Jews in doted rosette in Amran province, north of the capital Sanaa; they are less than a dozen people, and thus have become two of the role of the well-known worship there completely free zones."

Says another Jew named Joseph Said Naattiy The most important change for them is the declining number of members of the Jewish community, which holds their lives and practice their religious rituals. He continues, "In Judaism, prayer is not valid unless the group with ten members and above, as well as for the Queen (Royal). As the teachings of our religion requires the attendance of witnesses at the marriage contract or divorce have that they are not relatives, also circumcision children must be performed by a rabbi. "

For his part, the Yemeni Jewish demanding Yahya Moussa, who denies the possibility of the extinction of the Jewish community of Yemen, enabling the authorities to give them political and government positions like the rest of the population, with a view to the real feeling of citizenship.

Yemenite Jews have formed a cohesive mass, despite the storms that have passed their lives in varying lengths and maintained on the teachings of their religion, Metzodan assets Talmudic at the hands of religious leaders, in addition to that they have maintained their cultural heritage and their methods of life and language. After that Sanaa was Hdha- also indicate Alemradja- comprises 15 schools and 19 synagogues, and there is no offset in a number of provinces Kassadh, Aden, Dhamar, Ibb (protoplasm) and other cities, disappeared all after the displacement of Yemeni Jews abroad, specifically to "Israel ".
Google translation from this link. 


One year later from a different link...

After his father was murdered in broad daylight for being a Jew, Zindani knew he had to leave for good

Shira Rubin (Shira Rubin is an American journalist living in Jerusalem. Her work has appeared in the Daily Beast, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Atlantic.)
Last update: 25 March 2016

BEERSHEBA, Israel - Days after being evacuated in dramatic circumstances from Yemen’s civil conflict by the Israeli army, Yemeni Jew Yehiya Zindani is trying to process his drastic change of circumstance.

At a centre for new immigrants in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, Zindani smiles at the sight of children dressed in traditional costume celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim.

“In Yemen, we celebrated our holidays quietly. There we were prisoners,” recalled Zindani, who arrived in Israel late on Sunday night with 18 other Yemeni Jews.

The group were quietly taken from the country in a secret mission that media says marks the end of a historic Jewish presence in war-torn Yemen.

Zindani, like many of the other new arrivals, said he plans to visit relatives who already live in Israel. But he will also visit the grave of his father, Aharon, who was murdered in 2012 at a market near their former home in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.

A Yemeni Muslim who had accused Aharon Zindani of practicing witchcraft, approached him from behind as he bent down to pick up a bunch of vegetables. He swiftly stabbed him Yehiya’s father in the neck and stomach before fleeing the scene.

Four hours later, Zindani’s father succumbed to his wounds in hospital, and his remains were flown to Israel, along with several relatives, for a Jewish burial.

“The killer said that he had been sent by God to kill a Jew,” said Zindani, who along with all the capital city’s Jews lived in a protected enclave near the US embassy. The remainder of Yemen's ancient but fast-dwindling Jewish population lives in Raydah, a market town some 75 kilometres from Sanaa.

Despite the dangers, some 50 Jews still remain in Yemen and have refused Israel’s offer to emigrate, according to the Jewish Agency, a non-profit organisation that works in coordination with the Israeli government to facilitate immigration - or “aliyah”, literally “ascension” in Hebrew - to Israel.

While the Jewish Agency said that it would continue to assist any Yemeni Jews who later decided to leave the country, chairman Natan Sharansky described the latest evacuation as the end of an era.

“A chapter in the history of one of the world's oldest Jewish communities [has come] to an end. But Yemeni Jewry's unique, 2,000-year-old contribution to the Jewish people will continue in the State of Israel.”

In the past few days, the new arrivals - men dressed in typical Orthodox garb and women with their hair covered, some in burqas - have spent their first days in the country attempting to navigate a foreign bureaucracy and a labyrinthine process of filing papers.

Many said that despite the daunting challenges ahead, however, that they have great hope that younger family members will study and find good jobs in Israel.

A first step in integration is attending Jewish Agency-sponsored classes in modern Hebrew, a dialect that is vastly different from the ancient Hebrew spoken in Yemen.

Zahra Dahari, 23, has learned Hebrew since arriving two years ago, but her husband divorced her and she has been unable to find housing or a job in Israel. Making matters worse, a housing crisis has seen rent levels soar throughout the country.

"I don't know what to do," she said.

"I didn't expect that it would be so hard here, the culture is different. In Yemen, there is much modesty; in Israel the women dress very exposed," said Dahari, wearing a black headscarf and cooking fava beans on an improvised stovetop.

But she maintains that life is still better in Israel. "In Yemen, people would kill Jews; we were afraid to go to the synagogue. At least here in Israel, we are in our own country," she said.

Instability and violence in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 has seen a trickle of Yemeni Jew refugees turn into a swelling tide.

A descent into civil war that began in 2014 has only accelerated the trend, with Yemeni Jews saying they are increasingly being targeted.

In the past few years, 200 Yemeni Jews have been airlifted from Yemen. Exact details of the operations are not known due to the secrecy of the missions.

"We came here for my children, we saw that they weren't studying there in Yemen," said Yehiya Marhabi, a Jewish Agency representative who arranged the recent airlift. He arrived from Sanaa 10 years ago, but has returned to the country periodically since then to find that "things there have gotten worse, with ISIS, al-Qaeda, and all of those groups that threaten the Jewish community," he said, referring to the Islamic State (IS).

Yemeni Jews have left a “failed state that has fallen through the cracks, where al-Qaeda, IS and a whole supermarket of radical Islamists are taking advantage of the chaos and bringing about a new level of ethno-religious divisions,” said Uzi Rabi, director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies.

An ancient community

For centuries, the Jews of Yemen made up the country’s merchant class and prided themselves on being one of the oldest and most vibrant Jewish communities in the Arab world. They maintained their traditions in a tight-knit community, teaching recitation and memorisation of ancient Hebrew religious texts, even when schoolrooms consisted of only a handful of children. 

Yemen Jews, who wear sidelocks and skullcaps, were easily differentiated from their Muslim neighbours by their different dialect and appearance.

The history of the Jewish community in Yemen has involved long periods of peaceful co-existence interspersed with eruptions of violence.

In 1792 senior Muslim clerics ordered the synagogues to be destroyed. Afterwards by religious decree, Jews were forbidden to wear new or good clothes, were not allowed to bear arms or ride mules, and were forbidden from wearing jewellery or carrying traditional curved daggers worn by Yemeni men. In 1932 in the port city of Aden, a number of Jews were also targeted in anti-Jewish stoning and stabbing attacks.

However, the historically fragile relationship received its biggest blow in 1947 with the establishment of the state of Israel.

That year, after the UN General Assembly voted in favour of a partition of Mandate Palestine that would make way for an Arab and a Jewish state, Yemenis rioted in Aden, killing at least 82 Jews and destroying their homes and shops. In response, Israel facilitated the immigration to Israel of some 50,000 Jews - the majority of the population - in what was known as “Operation Magic Carpet".

Until 1962, an unknown number of Jews continued to trickle out of Yemen, but with the outbreak of the civil war that year, they were unable to exit. After the first Persian Gulf War, about 1,200 Jews left again with the help of the US. Most arrived in Israel, but smaller numbers were also flown to the US and Europe.
'Curse on the Jews'

The ouster of President Abdullah Saleh in 2012 left the Jewish community in Yemen more exposed. Saleh had publicly courted Jews in order to curry favour with the international community.

They have increasingly become the target of animosity, harassment and hostility, largely from Shia Houthi rebels who overthrew the internationally recognised government last year and operate under the slogan: “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse on the Jews, victory to Islam.”

Such developments confirmed a rising fear among the Jewish community that the link with Israel would increasingly place them in the crosshairs.

“Even though Yemeni Jews are leaving behind an ancient civilisation, the situation is simply too dangerous,” said Rabi, adding that the dozens who have stayed behind are likely elderly people “who believe that they should die in their homeland".

For Zion Dahari, an 18-year-old from northern Yemen who came to Israel four years ago, leaving behind his customs, language and culture has created both problems and opportunity.

Dahari, who followed many of his friends to Israel, muses that while he would have been married by now if he had stayed in Yemen. However, in Israel he can instead focus on trying to get into university and building a career for himself - something he said would have been impossible in Yemen’s shattered economy.

When his father and grandfather arrived earlier this week, he advised them that the transition in Israel could be difficult and that life was very different here.

Israelis "have a completely different mentalities and behaviours, so you need a lot of patience," he told Middle East Eye.

“But we left behind everything there so we can build a new life, in a Jewish state that gives us a future."


June 16, 2017, from a different link...

Knesset committee: Shocking photographs reveal Israeli medical experiments conducted on Jewish Yemenite children

For years, testimonies have been heard but up until now, no evidence has been published to confirm them. On Wednesday, the Knesset Special Committee on the Disappearance of Children from Yemen, the East and the Balkans were shown photographs that seem to attest to medical experiments that were conducted on Yemenite children during Israel’s early years. In one of the photographs, naked children are seen with scribbles marking where their internal organs are located.

Jun 16, 2017, 2:00PM

Photographs from the experiments have been uncovered Credit: Israel Hayom/Channel 2 News

Confidential documents from the Knesset Special Committee on the Disappearance of Children from Yemen, the East and the Balkans, which investigated the the disappearance of Jewish Yemenite children within the Yemenite Children Affair, were already published at the end of 2016 but up until now, evidence to support the testimonies regarding unauthorized medical experiments that Israeli doctors conducted on these missing children have not been published. On Wednesday morning, photographs that seem to attest to the documentation of some of the experiments conducted were shown to the Knesset committee that is working on the affair, headed by MK Nurit Koren.

In one of the photographs, which was first published by Israel Hayom, three naked children are seen with scribbles marking the location of their internal organs. For example, the Hebrew word for spleen can clearly be seen on a child’s body near the stomach, while other words were written on other children.

The Knesset committee discussed protocols in which testimonies can be heard describing the experiments conducted on the children without their families’ knowledge or consent. The testimonies include stories of experimental treatments that lead to the deaths of at least four children, the kidnapping of a girl from Rambam Hospital and the adoption of a girl by one of the employees.

In one of the protocols, former head of the children’s hospital in Rosh Ha’Ayin Dr. George Mendel is heard making remarks to the Cohen-Kedmi state commission of inquiry, which investigated the matter. Upon being questioned, Mendel said: “I remember one or two cases in which instructions were given to give an injection of dry protein that we would separate. Serum, dry plasma…and the results were not good.”

In another protocol, Dr. Mendel admitted that he conducted medical experiments on live Jewish Yemenite children, as doctors believed that Yemenites had “African blood,” in an attempt to discover whether they had sickle cell anemia. “There was no reason to ask for the parents’ consent,” Mendel said. “They took children who died for various reasons and checked their veins, checked their hearts,” he said.

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