Wednesday, December 28, 2016

400,000 'Yemenite children' records accessible online

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated an online database today that gives the public full access to some 400,000 pages of declassified documents that the state hopes will help bring closure to the decades-long controversy known as the “Yemenite Children Affair.”The Times of Israel reports (with thanks: Sylvia):

“Today we right a historic wrong,” Netanyahu said at a ceremony launching the database. “For close to 60 years people did not know the fate of their children, in a few minutes any person can access the pages containing all the information that the government of Israel has.” 

This is “a brave and important act,” said Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi, who was tasked by the prime minister with overseeing an investigation into the affair and who gave the go-ahead for the declassification of the documents.

Since the 1950s, over 1, 000 families — mostly immigrants from Yemen, but also dozens from the Balkans, North Africa and other Middle Eastern countries — have alleged their children were systematically kidnapped from Israeli hospitals and put up for adoption, sometimes abroad.

Read article in full

Yemenite immigrants in a camp near Ein Shemer in 1950. (Pinn Hans/GPO)


Emile Cohen said...

Good to have Netanyahu admitting that a historic crime was committed. I seem to recall at Point of No Return an article claiming that Israel had properly investigated the Yemenite Babies issue and found the allegations to be grossly exaggerated with only 56 children involved. After this admission by Netanyahu an apology by Point of No Return is warranted.

bataween said...

not so fast , Emile, Netanyahu has approved the release of the documents but has not admitted a historic crime. Of course terrible things happened but the key point is whether there was a racket or some sort of conspiracy to abduct the children. If so, the authorities must be called to account, but someone needs to study the documentation in detail in order to reach a conclusion. This blog has nothing to apologise for, we merely summarise facts or make accessible certain points of view.

Emile Cohen said...

To betaween

Perhaps there are two historic crimes: one of the kidnapping of the Yemenite children and the other is the refusal to release the said documents until now. It does not take much logic to believe that there is a conspiracy of sort. There have been many instances in the past where the blog vehemently rejected the allegations of kidnapping as unfounded, despite many Yemenites who were convinced of the conspiracy but did not have the facilities to produce irrefutable evidence. The position of the blog was not unbiased in its views. I will await the to see what the documents would divulge.

bataween said...

Yes that is the best way forward. We are following the story and whatever the findings turn out to be the blog will report them

Anonymous said...

What is known is there was no officially sanctioned systemic abduction of children.

Any instances were carried out by individuals who perpetrated the most terrible crime against the parents and would have had to live with this on their conscience

Emile Cohen said...

I strongly recommend reading The Tragedy and Shame of 1950s Israel’s Treatment of Yemenite Children by Seth J. Frantzman published in the Jerusalem post on 29th Dec 2016.