Rabbi Yahya Youssef, the leader of the remaining 70-odd Jews in Sa'ana, poses with a photo of the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh
The news that Houthi rebels have seized the Presidential palace in the capital Sana'a puts Yemen's remaining Jews, who live under government protection, at unprecedented risk. The Jerusalem Post reports:
A takeover of the Yemenite capital of Sanaa by Houthi rebels may put the
country’s Jewish community at risk given the Shi’ite group’s track
“It is clear they are in danger” due to “religious hate”
and “extreme Islam,” University of Haifa professor emeritus Yosef Tobi
said, although he was hesitant to make specific predictions.
Jewish community lives in a guarded district under the protection of
the central government, after fleeing to the capital from the town of
Saada following Houthis threats in 2007.
“We warn you to leave
the area immediately... Ignore this message, and we give you a period
of 10 days, and you will regret it,” a Houthi representative warned the
Jewish community of Saada at the time.
tensions, and the government’s lack of resources and capacity to
protect [the Jews] adequately from increased threats in late 2008 and
early 2009, led to increased emigration of the community,” according to
a report on the US State Department website.
After the Houthi
rebels entered the capital last year, supporters gathered in the
streets, some chanting “Death to America! Death to the Jews! Victory to
Islam.” The Houthi logo features the phrases “Death to Israel” and
“Damn the Jews.”
“The Jews of Yemen are in big danger now,” said
Michael Jankelowitz, a former spokesman to the international media at
the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization.
“This should trouble the leaders of the Jewish Agency who have been trickle by trickle bringing them out.”
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No news on Sana'a Jews after Houthis invade