High-rise in anti-Semitism and abuse of Yemen’s Jewish community

Jewish community in Yemen report high-rise in anti-Semitism and abuse following last month’s covert operation that brought 17 Jews to Israel

One month after Israeli security agencies in cooperation with the Jewish Agency brought 17 Yemenite Jews to Israel in a covert operation, reports of extreme anti-Semitism and abuse from the remaining Jewish community in Yemen have surfaced.

According to the reports, the remaining 67 Jews in Yemen, who were reported to have refused to leave Yemen, are now reporting a rise in abuse from Muslims in Yemen, several Jews from Yemen reporting that the covert mission and transport of an ancient Torah scroll to Israel have resulted in increased anti-Semitism. Speaking anonymously to a media outlet, a Jewish source stated “After the news about the manuscript became public, people became very wary of us, accusing us of treason against our country, Yemen. Now they are always watching us. We cannot stand to live here anymore.”

Immigration to Israel is illegal in Yemen.

A member of the Jewish community in Yemen was reportedly arrested and interrogated by Shi’ite Houthi rebels following media coverage of the Yemenite Jews’ aliyah (Hebrew term for Jewish immigration to Israel).

Additionally, one of the Jewish immigrants was the rabbi of the remaining Jewish community in Yemen, reports claiming that the Jewish community in Yemen no longer have a rabbi.

 

A spokesman for the Jewish Agency, Avi Meyer, stated on the reports “It [the operation carried out last month] was supposed to be the last massive operation. Our understanding was that those people remaining intended to stay there. We said that if any individual who wishes to make aliyah, we will facilitate and they should know that they are welcome in Israel.”

 

51,000 Jews from Yemen have immigrated to the State of Israel since 1948, majority arriving during Operation Magic Carpet in 1949-1950.