Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dozen of Yemeni Jews stranded in Cairo

Mohammed al-Kibsi

Aug 26, 2011

A dozen of Yemeni Jews are stranded in Cairo of Egypt after failed to migrate to South America.

Yahya Yousof, Rabbi of the Al-Salem Jewish minority in Yemen said that the 12 Jews that left Yemen more than two months ago are stranded in Cairo and that they had left Yemen illegally.

He said that they are now in Egypt and are expected to be extradited to the Yemeni authorities soon due to false information they presented to the Yemeni immigration authorities prior to their leave to Egypt.

The 12 Jews are now being held in Egypt. He said that the twelve Yemeni Jews are suspected of forging official documents and could face legal actions due to not having proper documents.

A Yemeni Jew from Raidah town, 50 kilometers to the north of Sana’a, who asked to not mention his name said that many of the Yemeni Jews minority that live in Raida including the 12 stranded in Cairo have been planning to migrate to Europe in fears of being killed by Islamist radicals especially after one of them was killed by a radical Islamist militant.

Masha al-Nahari, 39 years old Yemeni Jew from Raidah was killed by an Islamist extremist in December 2008 after he and the Jewish minority in Raidah had received threats from Islamic extremists to convert to Islam or leave the country.

In a contradicted report the reported that as fighting and instability continue in Yemen, Satmar activists are taking advantage of the anarchy to step up efforts to smuggle Jews out of the country. According to a Kikar Shabbat report, a number of Yemenite Jews have recently been smuggled out of the country, taken to Argentina.

Of late, the situation for the remaining Jewish community has turned increasingly hostile, to the point of life-threatening in some cases, prompting Satmar to increase efforts to save the last remnants of the once thriving community in that country. Since the rebels began efforts to overthrow the current government, attacks against Jews have increased significantly, creating the volatile situation that exists today.

It appears that over recent days, 21 Jews, including three widows and an infant have been successfully taken out of the country, brought to safety.

The report adds that due to the political sensitivities surrounding such an operation, the United States would not agree to serve as a safe haven for these Jews, so Satmar decided to move them to S. America, to the local Satmar community in that country.

Satmar has been active in rescuing the last Yemenite Jews for a number of years, then absorbing them into their community. Satmar has come under criticism by many, who oppose turning the Yemenite Jews into Ashkenazi Satmar Chassidim.

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