Monday, August 15, 2011

Fear for Yemen Jews as conflict continues

By Jennifer Lipman, August 15, 2011

Groups of Yemeni Jews are reportedly fleeing their homes as the conflict between the government and rebels, including those backed by Al-Qaida, shows no sign of subsiding.

According to an article in the Yemen Post, seven Jews from the Amran province have already left and another eight are planning to go as soon as possible. It is unclear where they plan to go.

Yemen's long-time president Ali Abdullah Salah has refused to relinquish power, despite six months of uprisings and protests in the already lawless state.

Yemen was once home to a thriving Jewish population, but after Israel gained independence many of its 60,000 Jews fled or were airlifted to Israel on Operation Magic Carpet.

The community has now declined to less than 300 people spread across the country. Many have been attempting to leave and start new lives in the UK, US or Israel for some time.

Despite campaigns in recent years by MPs Diane Abbot and Mike Freer, the government has not granted Yemeni Jews, with links to British families, permission to settle in Britain.

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