MembersCovert Operation Rescues Yemenite Jewry

In a top secret airlift, Israel brought 19 Jews from war-torn Yemen to the Promised Land. Among the new olim (immigrants) was a rabbi carrying a 500-year-old Torah scroll.

By Shlomo Mordechai |
‘THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK’ (Psalm 40:7) PM Netanyahu with Yemenite immigrants who brought a 500-year-old Torah scroll Photo: Haim Zach/GPO

The Jewish Agency, which is responsible for immigration, said the operation effectively completes the repatriation of the ancient Yemenite Jewish community.

“This is a highly significant moment in the history of Israel,” said Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky. “Yemenite Jewry’s unique, 2,000-year-old contribution to the Jewish people will continue in the State of Israel.”

Most Yemenite Jews, some 50,000, have immigrated to Israel since 1949 in the wake of Arab persecution following the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. Today, only 50 Jews remain in Yemen, by choice.

The civil war in Yemen prompted this group of 19 Jews to leave their homes in the capital Sanaa, which was captured by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in 2014. The Jews there complained of growing harassment from the Houthis who are hostile to both Israel and the West.

The rescue mission was code-named Miktze Teiman, from an Old Testament verse which means...

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