Jewish Agency: Yemeni gov't is protecting Jewish community

Amos Hermon tells 'Post' President Ali Abdullah Saleh promised Nahari's murderer would be tried.

Ali Abdullah Saleh yemen 248 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Ali Abdullah Saleh yemen 248 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh is showing genuine concern for the country's Jews and making every effort to protect them, a senior Jewish Agency official told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. The local Jews have faced increasing threats and violence in recent years. Last week, Moshe Nahari, from the town of Raydah, was shot dead, and the community's rabbi asked the government to relocate the community of some 300 Jews to a protected compound near the American Embassy in San'a, the capital. "We're aware of the efforts of the Yemeni government to protect the community," said Amos Hermon, chairman of the Jewish Agency's Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism. "The president has promised that the murderer of Nahari would be tried, and he instructed the police to arrest those who threw firebombs at a Jewish house in Raydah [on Monday]." "The police investigations of the attacks look serious. We are assuming that the Jews in Yemen are more or less protected for now," Hermon said. But, he added, "we don't see a long-term hope for them living in areas that have a radical Islamist presence and ongoing conflict between Iran-supported Shi'ite tribes in the north and the government. The Jews are caught in the middle of that." Hermon does not believe the remaining few hundred Jews in Yemen, down from a community of some 50,000 in 1948, will make aliya. "We think they should leave Yemen, but we're not seeing that desire among the Jewish community itself," he said.