Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jewish bodies row over NY-bound Yemen Jews

The Jerusalem Post reports that a row has broken out among Jewish organisations in the US about the planned airlift of Yemenite Jews to an anti-Zionist community in New York. But their safety is surely a greater priority:

"The World Zionist Organization executive called on the communal umbrella of American Jewry to stop the fundraising effort meant to move Yemenite Jews to a Satmar community in Monsey, New York.

"The Jerusalem-based WZO, whose leaders form part of the leadership of the Jewish Agency, disapproves of the United Jewish Communities' efforts on behalf of the move because the Yemenites will be joining an anti-Zionist community.

"Bringing Yemenite Jews to the Satmar community is an anti-Zionist activity, because it's bringing Jews to a place that doesn't really recognize the State of Israel," said Paula Edelstein, who sits on the WZO executive and is co-chair of the Jewish Agency's Immigration and Absorption Committee.

"The WZO statement, which is being finalized and will only be released on Tuesday, "is a strong call for the UJC to stop its activities encouraging the immigration of Yemenite Jews to the US," according to agency and WZO spokesman Gil Litman.

"Some 113 Yemenite Jews are expected to leave Yemen for the United States in the coming weeks, aided by the US State Department and Jewish refugee agencies in the US. Many of the remaining 160 or so Jews in the country are expected to eventually come to Israel, Jewish Agency officials believe."

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