Yemeni NGO criticizes gov't for treatment of Jews

Sawa’a Organization protests Jewish refugees’ severed funding, warns against return home to Saada.

January 21, 2013 00:40
1 minute read.
yemen jews 521

yemen jews 521. (photo credit: courtesy)


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The Sawa’a Organization for Anti-Discrimination posted on Facebook on Saturday that the Yemeni government had stopped payments to Jews who left Saada in 2007, also complaining that these Jews are still unable to return home because of religiously motivated violence against them by Shi’ite Houthis.

Sawa’a states that “their return to Saada will be a direct threat to their lives, their safety and security.”

The organization goes on to say that it demands that the government restore their allocations for housing and protection. It also insists they be removed from “what is like house arrest on Yemeni citizens, who don’t commit an offense.”

These actions “violate the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was ratified by Yemen” and the “principles of the tolerant Islamic religion,” Sawa’a said.

Members of the organization were arrested last October for visiting the rabbi of the Jewish community in Sawa’an, according to the statement.

Sawa’a complained back in December that the government was excluding Yemenite Jews from an upcoming National Dialogue Conference and called on President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to include them, according to a report in the Yemen Observer. Jews were said to be barred from political participation, suffering from a lack of jobs and education.

The Iranian Fars news agency reported on Sunday that Israel is trying to “Judaize the ‘occupied lands’ by transferring Yemeni Jews to Tel Aviv and other cities,” according to unverified sources. The report claims the Jews are being transferred in coordination with Qatar, quoting Palestinian sources.

Iran is historically at odds with the Sunni Arab countries and tying Qatar to the supposed mission could be part of the media battle it is trying to wage.

National Yemen reported earlier this month that 50 Jews were residing in a guarded compound called “Tourist City,” situated across from the US embassy – the remnants of the Jews expelled by the Houthis from Saada.

Their homes were looted, as was a library that contained valuable manuscripts and a rare copy of the Torah, according to the report. In addition, Jews were said to be cutting off their sidecurls to avoid being targeted.

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