Secret Mission Rescues Yemen's Jews

[Wall Street Journal] Miriam Jordan - A clandestine operation has brought about 60 Yemeni Jews to the U.S. since July, and officials say another 100 could still come, as the U.S. State Department works to bring some of Yemen's last remaining Jews to America to escape rising anti-Semitic violence in the country. There were an estimated 350 in Yemen before the operation began, one of the oldest Jewish diaspora communities. Jews reached Yemen more than 2,500 years ago as traders for King Solomon. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been trying to protect the Jews, but his inability to quell the rebellion in the country's north made it less likely he could do so, prompting the U.S. to step in. "If we had not done anything, we feared there would be bloodshed," says Gregg Rickman, former State Department Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Violence toward the country's small remaining Jewish community began to intensify last year, when one of its most prominent members was gunned down outside his house.

2009-11-02 06:00:00

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