A last group of Jews living in Yemen was brought to Israel in a secret mission in recent days, the Jewish Agency announced. Clandestine activity of the Jewish Agency culminated in the aliya of the 19 Jews, fourteen from the town of Raydah and a family of five from the capital Sana'a. This leaves 50 Jews in Yemen, most of them in a guarded compound in Sana'a. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Yemenite Jews arrive in Israel. Below: ancient Torah scroll brought out by Rabbi Saliman Damari (photos: Jewish Agency)
to Channel 2, the US State Department was involved in the mission and
helped coordinate the complex transfer of the Jews after the group faced
persecution on its way to Israel.
Among the new immigrants was Rabbi Saliman Dahari who arrived
with his parents and his wife and met his children upon arrival at the
absorption center in Israel. The rabbi brought with him a Torah scroll
that is 500-600-years-old.
One of the new
arrivals on Monday was the son of Aharon Zindani, who was murdered in an
anti-Semitic attack in 2012. Also in 2012, a young Jewish woman was
abducted, forced to convert to Islam, and forcibly wed to a Muslim man.
The Jewish Agency said that as Yemen has descended into civil war and
the humanitarian situation in the country has worsened, the Jewish
community has found itself increasingly imperiled.
51,000 Yemenite Jews have immigrated to Israel since the country’s
establishment in 1948. In 1949, Israel organized their mass transfer to
the newly-established state in Operation Magic Carpet.
Jewish Agency noted that some fifty Jews remain in Yemen, including
approximately forty in Sanaa, where they live in a closed compound
adjacent to the US embassy and enjoy the protection of Yemeni
authorities. These last Jews have chosen to remain in the country
without Jewish communal or organizational infrastructure, the Jewish
Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan
Sharansky said hailed the mission as a "significant moment in the
history of Israel and of aliya."
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PM Netanyahu meets Saliman Damari and his family (clip)
MFA newsletter (with thanks: Imre)
One young Yemenite student announced the news on his Facebook page:
" I have waited ten long years to say that my parents, grandparents and
the rest of my family is finally out of Yemen. I just got a phone call from the Jewish Agency confirming that they're on their way to Israel."
The news was announced yesterday by Manny Dahari, a student in the US.
The family are from Raida in the north of the country, driven out by the civil war and the rise in antisemitism.
After three failed attempts to leave Yemen in the space of two years, Manny Dahari's's five young siblings arrived in Israel in October from the war-torn country.