On Wednesday evening, the Jewish Agency helped board four Jews from Yemen to Israel from the city of Radda in Yemen on a secret flight. Another group, which had previously been declined entry to the UK and brought to Argentina instead, joined them. These Yemenites are now finally able to call Israel their new home.
Security measures were taken to help protect these Jews who still remain in Yemen under threat of attack. For instance, the flight was carried out secretly due to the fact that Yemen and Israel share no diplomatic ties. Also, two couples and a child arrived through a third country that was not identified for security reasons. The rest of the children and families arrived from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where, according to ABC News, a Hasidic Jewish community had sheltered them for the past two years.
Yemenite Jews have been fleeing Yemen for refuge in Israel since the 19th century. Today, the once large community, which predates Islam in the country, is almost completely nonexistent. Since 2009, about 150 Yeminite Jews have moved to Israel in the midst of threats from al-Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen. These Yemenite Jews feel safe in Israel, but then again, where else could they escape to?
The Jewish Agency and Israel are ready to help once again with helping everyone feel at home and accustomed to their new life. According to JPost, “The Jewish Agency stands at the ready to bring any Yemenite Jew who expresses interest in making aliya to Israel, and to help the local community in any way possible,” Natan Sharansky, Jewish Agency chairman, said.
Contributed by CAMERA Intern Leeron Ofer