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Persecution Defines Life for Yemen’s Remaining Jews

Yemen’s once-vibrant Jewish community has been reduced to untended cemeteries, empty villages, and less than 100 individuals. Rod Nordland, writing for The New York Timestakes a deeper look at life for this country’s Jewish community, which is marked by persecution and fear:

The last of Yemen’s once numerous Jews, who predated Muslims by many centuries, have seldom been so threatened and had so few protectors. … Most of them live in Amran Province, deep in territory controlled by Houthi militants, whose leaders have made anti-Semitism a central plank in their political platform. …

The Houthis, who now dominate the country, are particularly strong in the two places with confirmed remaining Yemeni Jews: here in Raida, where there are 55 Jews, and in Sana, the capital, where a small number live under what amounts to house arrest by the Houthi leadership.

The two countries that have long facilitated Jewish emigration from Yemen — the United States and Britain — both closed their embassies last week, as did most other Western countries. And the Yemeni strongman who for three decades was the Jews’ protector, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, is not only out of power, but also, more recently, out of favor with the Houthis.

“We have no friends,” said [Abraham Jacob, one of the country’s remaining Jews], “so we just try to stay away from everyone as much as we can.”

The Fellowship has long been committed to rescuing Yemen’s Jews. Click here to read the story of a Yemenite family that was brought to Israel though our On Wings of Eagles program.

Tags: Asia , Judaism , Anti-Semitism

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