Jews in Yemen
Photo: Reuters
Photo: David Karp
Zeev Bielski
Photo: David Karp

Jewish Agency head concerned over rising anti-Semitism in Yemen

In aftermath of Jew's murder by Muslim extremist, Bielski urges PM Olmert to work within international community toward forcing Sana'a to quell attacks on Jewish community

Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielski sent Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a letter on Monday in which he expressed his concern over the recent attacks against Yemen's Jewish community.


Bielski asked that Olmert work within the international community toward forcing the government in Sana'a to quash the growing anti-Semitism in the Arab country.


The latest wave of attacks on Yemen's Jews began about a week ago with the murder of Moshe Yaish Nahari in the city of Rida, located north of the capital.


Eyewitnesses said the killer, Abed el-Aziz el-Abadi, had confronted Nahari at the local market, called out to him "Jew, accept the message of Islam" and then proceeded to open fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Nahari was reportedly struck by five bullets.


News agencies reported that the heads of Yemen's Jewish community received death threats in the aftermath of Nahari's murder. In one incident a grenade was hurled into the yard of a home belonging to a Jewish leader, and in another incident a parking area located in close proximity to the home of another leader was set ablaze.


"The reports we are receiving from Yemen are causing us to fear a further deterioration of the situation," Bielski told Olmert in the letter, "I ask that you exert your influence with the friendly nations, particularly the US, so that the authorities in Yemen will be asked to stop the attacks on the Jewish community there."


Roughly 400 Jews are still living in Yemen, mostly in Rida. The Rida Jews have lived in relative peace alongside their Muslim neighbors, but now they are complaining that local authorities are ignoring their complaints of death threats and growing hostility.


פרסום ראשון: 12.16.08, 09:24
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