Are Reports Of The Persecution Of Yemenite Jews Completely False? – Yeshiva World News

Posted By on July 21, 2020

Recent reports in Yemenite media outlets and an Egyptian newspaper that the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel group in Yemen has rounded up the countrys few remaining Jews as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign may be completely false, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Israels Foreign Ministry told The Post that they have been asked by many sources about the report but it appears to be false. Another international organization with connections to the Jewish community in Yemen also told The Post that it investigated the reports and found them to be false.

Despite the claims that the allegations are false, the Yemenite embassy in Washington quoted the reports, apparently in order to slander the Iranian-backed Houthis, but did not mention whether they investigated or verified the reports.

A report in the Hebrew Yated Neeman quoted a senior source in the Yemenite Jewish community in Monsey who scoffed at the claims of the Houthis cutting off the supply of electricity and water of Jews in Yemen and preventing them from buying food, saying that infrastructure in the country is not reliable for Muslims or Jews.

Theres no electrical supply for the Muslims in the same way theres none for the Jews, said Rav Faiz Gradi, a leader of the Yemenite Jewish community who immigrated to the US a decade ago. The country is in a difficult situation and the electrical infrastructure hasnt been functioning for years.

Rav Gradi spoke about the Talmud Torah he left behind in Yemen and his private home that he refused to sell before he left due to the mikvah in his home that was still needed by the remaining Jews.

I have a Muslim neighbor who guarded my house. A while ago he called me and said: Theyre pressuring me to sell them the house and my life takes priority. Release me from my promise.'

I had received several offers to buy my home in the past. It was worth a nice amount of money but the Houthis forced my neighbor to sell it to them for a tiny pittance. I didnt sell it earlier when I could have received a good price since I have a mikvah in my home and the community that remained behind was using it. I couldnt cut them off from basic Jewish necessities.

Some of the families that made aliyah to Israel left behind many possessions and appointed Muslim guardians whom they trusted. One of them, who was in charge of most of the possessions, recently stopped answering phone calls. Theyre aware that he made a deal with the Houthis who are financially strapped.

Rav Gradi was reluctant to discuss the current situation of the Jews of Yemen but mentioned that the only planes currently allowed to land at the airport in the capital city of Sanaa are US and UN aid planes. Martin Griffiths, the UN envoy in Yemen, supports the Jewish community and assists them, he added.

All these years, the Shearis Hapleita (the few remaining Jews) refused to make aliyah to Israel due to their fear of educational and tznius issues, Rav Gradi said. They heard from their brothers who made aliyah before them and understand that Israel is not for them. The US is also not appropriate for their lifestyle.

They searched for an Arab country that would agree to accept them and there are a number of countries that may be willing to host them with assistance from the US. Perhaps well be zocheh to soon see a new Yemenite community in a country with a similar Arab nature but without threats to its security and Yahadus, Rav Gradi cryptically concluded.

(YWN Israel Desk Jerusalem)

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Are Reports Of The Persecution Of Yemenite Jews Completely False? - Yeshiva World News

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