Thank You State Department
'US State Dept. rescues 60 Yemeni Jews' Oct. 31, 2009 JPost.com Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST
Amid a rise in anti-Semitic violence and terrorist activity in the country, the US State Department recently spirited nearly 60 Yemeni Jews from Yemen and resettled them in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
According to the report, nearly 350 Yemenite Jews lived in the country before the operation. Those who have already moved to the US are likely to be joined by 100 more, while the remaining number will most likely move to Israel.
"If we had not done anything, we feared there would be bloodshed," Gregg Rickman, former State Department Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, told the paper.
In August, Israeli sources confirmed that the overwhelming majority of the final remnant of Yemen's ancient Jewish community was looking to leave the country.
"About 120 of the Yemeni Jews want to move to Israel, 100 want to move to the US," a source told the Jerusalem Post back then. "And between 20 and 30 want to stay."
Some of the Jews wishing to leave are unable to do so because they are having trouble selling their property, the source said.
Violent attacks and persecution have been a regular experience of Yemen's tiny Jewish community in recent years, against the backdrop of tensions and an anti-government insurrection in the northwestern part of the country, in the province of Saada, where a Muslim religious minority affiliated with Shi'ite Islam has been clashing with government forces since 2004.
Haviv Rettig Gur contributed to this report.
I want to thank the State Department for doing this, as a husband of a Yemenite.