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Sana’a - Yemeni Rabbi Criticizes Potential Transfer of Yemeni Jews to Britain

Published on: May 13, 2010 04:06 PM
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Rabbi Yahya YousifSana’a - A Yemeni Jewish rabbi demanded the British government not give asylum to Yemeni Jews who want to leave their country because of alleged persecution.

“The attempts to take the Jews from Yemen are attempts to damage the reputation of Yemen as a country without tolerance,” said Rabbi Yahya Yousif. “I do not agree with my brothers the Jews, who allow others to distort Yemen, our homeland,” he added.

This comes after press reports that Britain is about to offer asylum to a group of Yemeni Jews who applied for it due to alleged persecution in Yemen. “I have information that a group of Jews in Raidah have the desire to leave Yemen for Britain, but I think this is not justifiable,” the rabbi said. “This is our homeland, and the homeland of our grand parents. We are fine here, secure, and our rights are given.”

Rabbi Yahya Yousif, along with a group of about 70 Jews have been living in a government-run residential compound in the Yemeni capital Sana’a since 2006, when Houthi rebels forced them to leave their houses in the town of al-Salem, in Sa’adah.

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There are about 260 Jews still living in the most tribal and conservative province of the town of Raida, Amran province, about 50 km north of Sana’a. The Yemeni government promised to transfer them to Sana’a like the group from al-Salem, after one of them was killed by a religious extremist who had demanded that the victim convert to Islam or die. Later the killer was sentenced to death.

The Jews in Raida have complained to journalists and human rights groups of instances of harassment and persecution, yet they are not able to leave for Sana’a. They also face difficulties in selling their houses and lands.

“We want to move to Sana’a like our brothers from al-Salem, but we want compensation for our houses and lands first. The government kept promising us, but nothing has happened,” said one of the Jews in Raida. “If our problem is not solved, we’ll go to hell, not only to Israel or Britain,” said the Jew, who asked not to be named.

A source close to the Jews in Raida said that all of the 260 Jews are only waiting for the appropriate time to leave Yemen for Britain. A diplomat from the UK embassy in Sana’a declined to deny or confirm that asylum had been granted.



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Read Comments (31)  —  Post Yours »

1

 May 13, 2010 at 04:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Does he have tzizits on that talis?

2

 May 13, 2010 at 04:26 PM Anonymous Says:

He's a sephardic version of the nk. Rachmonis on him.

3

 May 13, 2010 at 04:30 PM obamanation Says:

v'nishmartem m'oiyd lenofshoisaichem, i know its easy for me to say it but the torah is still the boss!!

4

 May 13, 2010 at 04:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Move to Israel Rabbi-your exile is likely over.

5

 May 13, 2010 at 04:59 PM Anonymous Says:

This Galus is making my brain implode.

6

 May 13, 2010 at 05:02 PM Anonymous Says:

I guess he has too much hashish. Let him stay behind and enjoy his mother land. It's communism, everybody has to like it or else....

7

 May 13, 2010 at 05:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

He's a sephardic version of the nk. Rachmonis on him.

Remember what it says about the yidden of buvel...but either way, you think he says this voluntarily? he HAS to praise the yemeni govt, just like those in iran. he has no choice

8

 May 13, 2010 at 05:49 PM Anonymous Says:

He is a "rabbi" like all the rabbis in the media....

9

 May 13, 2010 at 05:30 PM Barry Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Does he have tzizits on that talis?

If this is the only concern you have, perhaps you should check more than just your tzitzis.

Do they know the problems the Jewish Community in Britian have with the growing menacing Muslim population? I hope they decide to go to Israel instead.
It seems that the Yemeni Rabbi said what he had to, inorder to satisfy the government. I doubt he means it.

10

 May 13, 2010 at 05:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
obamanation Says:

v'nishmartem m'oiyd lenofshoisaichem, i know its easy for me to say it but the torah is still the boss!!

The Yemenite will be safer from assimilation with Ashkenazi Jews if they stay in Yemen. In their thousands of years of history in Yemen, they have stayed more true to their Jewish roots than the Hungarian Jews in Boro Park. You won't find any blue eyes or "aryan features" in Yemenite Jews.

11

 May 13, 2010 at 06:40 PM Sara Says:

It seems clear to me that his words are probably being coerced by the Yemenite government to make themselves look better to the rest of the world. His statement sounds similar to many others who were in similar situations to him, like the Iranian Jews who have been forced to say nice things about Iran in order to placate the government. We should not be swayed by this facade being put up by the anti-semetic Yemenite government and continue to try and help our brothers trapped there.

12

 May 13, 2010 at 06:41 PM duvid Says:

Definitely wondering if he released this statement willingly.

13

 May 13, 2010 at 06:41 PM Anonymous Says:

"Rabbi Yahya Yousif, along with a group of about 70 Jews have been living in a government-run residential compound in the Yemeni capital Sana’a since 2006, when Houthi rebels forced them to leave their houses in the town of al-Salem, in Sa’adah."

"The attempts to take the Jews from Yemen are attempts to damage the reputation of Yemen as a country without tolerance,” said Rabbi Yahya Yousif. “I do not agree with my brothers the Jews, who allow others to distort Yemen, our homeland,” he added."



Really Rabbi? You're locked up for your own safety. For G-d's sake, wake up and smell the coffee.

14

 May 13, 2010 at 06:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Don't people realize that he his statement may be forced? He may have had his family threatened.

15

 May 13, 2010 at 07:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

The Yemenite will be safer from assimilation with Ashkenazi Jews if they stay in Yemen. In their thousands of years of history in Yemen, they have stayed more true to their Jewish roots than the Hungarian Jews in Boro Park. You won't find any blue eyes or "aryan features" in Yemenite Jews.

D'ya think it might be because the goyish neighbors in Yemen don't have any blue eyes or "aryan features", d'ya think?!

16

 May 13, 2010 at 07:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

The Yemenite will be safer from assimilation with Ashkenazi Jews if they stay in Yemen. In their thousands of years of history in Yemen, they have stayed more true to their Jewish roots than the Hungarian Jews in Boro Park. You won't find any blue eyes or "aryan features" in Yemenite Jews.

Neither would you find blue eyes the entire Arab population, so quite frankly I do not get your point.

17

 May 13, 2010 at 08:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Sara Says:

It seems clear to me that his words are probably being coerced by the Yemenite government to make themselves look better to the rest of the world. His statement sounds similar to many others who were in similar situations to him, like the Iranian Jews who have been forced to say nice things about Iran in order to placate the government. We should not be swayed by this facade being put up by the anti-semetic Yemenite government and continue to try and help our brothers trapped there.

ditto. This is not coming from the layv. He's but a mere puppet

18

 May 13, 2010 at 08:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Barry Says:

If this is the only concern you have, perhaps you should check more than just your tzitzis.

Do they know the problems the Jewish Community in Britian have with the growing menacing Muslim population? I hope they decide to go to Israel instead.
It seems that the Yemeni Rabbi said what he had to, inorder to satisfy the government. I doubt he means it.

Israel also has a growing menacing Muslim population. But I agree with you that it would be better for them if they were to make aliyah.

19

 May 13, 2010 at 08:53 PM Pinchos Woolstone Says:

The poor fellow was coerced, he is not a free agent.
The government in Yemen "encouraged" him to make a statement.
All the remaining Jews need to be assisted to leave as soon as possible.
They should be free to choose their destination be it Israel, the UK or the US

20

 May 13, 2010 at 09:41 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

I guess he has too much hashish. Let him stay behind and enjoy his mother land. It's communism, everybody has to like it or else....

Qat (or Khat) is actually what they chew in Yemen... he's definitely not smoking hashish...

21

 May 14, 2010 at 01:55 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Sara Says:

It seems clear to me that his words are probably being coerced by the Yemenite government to make themselves look better to the rest of the world. His statement sounds similar to many others who were in similar situations to him, like the Iranian Jews who have been forced to say nice things about Iran in order to placate the government. We should not be swayed by this facade being put up by the anti-semetic Yemenite government and continue to try and help our brothers trapped there.

This is correct. He is not speaking his own mind. He may literally have a gun pointed at his head.

22

 May 14, 2010 at 06:43 AM Stamford Hilly Billy Says:

For all those of you criticsing this Rabbi, why dont you think before you speak. Just because he doesn`t look and dress like a hemishe yid from der heim that doesn`t allow you to make baseless comments that smell of intolerance.

Those who say he sounds like a Neturi Karta, should use their head to realise that he is very likely being forced to make these statements by a government that would like to at least appear that it is tolerant and not only willing but also able to protect it's jews.

Just cos he doesn`t look like a chassidhe rav does that doesn`t mean he isn`t a rabbi, how on earth can you tell how much torah he knows just from looking at him, i know many people who don`t have the apearance of a rav but know more torah than some rabbonim.

And the comments about his dress are ridiculous, does the scarf he is wearing need tzitzit i don`t know, but don`t pass judgement on such things until you definetly know yourself, and obviously this is the way jews in yemen dress, so just respect it, who cares if it different, who are ssatmar chassidim to impose their dress styles on yemenite jews, which they often seem to do.

23

 May 14, 2010 at 09:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Move to Israel Rabbi-your exile is likely over.

What a shame. We are still in Golus and those living in Israel are more in Golus than those liviing in Chutz la'oretz.

24

 May 14, 2010 at 10:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Stamford Hilly Billy Says:

For all those of you criticsing this Rabbi, why dont you think before you speak. Just because he doesn`t look and dress like a hemishe yid from der heim that doesn`t allow you to make baseless comments that smell of intolerance.

Those who say he sounds like a Neturi Karta, should use their head to realise that he is very likely being forced to make these statements by a government that would like to at least appear that it is tolerant and not only willing but also able to protect it's jews.

Just cos he doesn`t look like a chassidhe rav does that doesn`t mean he isn`t a rabbi, how on earth can you tell how much torah he knows just from looking at him, i know many people who don`t have the apearance of a rav but know more torah than some rabbonim.

And the comments about his dress are ridiculous, does the scarf he is wearing need tzitzit i don`t know, but don`t pass judgement on such things until you definetly know yourself, and obviously this is the way jews in yemen dress, so just respect it, who cares if it different, who are ssatmar chassidim to impose their dress styles on yemenite jews, which they often seem to do.

Calm down, most of the commentators are actually very understanding and tolerable.

25

 May 14, 2010 at 10:53 AM S. Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

He's a sephardic version of the nk. Rachmonis on him.

>He's a sephardic version of the nk. Rachmonis on him.

Far more likely is that he is under pressure. NK live in free countries so we can assume they speak their mind and act as they wish to. Don't be like those Jews who denounced the Chief Rabbi of Moscow when he came to the US under KGB supervision and had little choice but to propagandize for the Soviets.

(Sephardic? Huh?)

26

 May 14, 2010 at 11:03 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Neither would you find blue eyes the entire Arab population, so quite frankly I do not get your point.

On that part you would be very wrong. There are blond haired, freckled faced, blue eyed Arabs in Middle East. I've seen them in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, West Bank....
Even if you travel to Iran, India or places like Afghanistan, you can see entire small towns with children running around that are light skinned, red hair, blue eyed. Historians trace their roots from the Alexander the Great conquests and European colonialism.

27

 May 14, 2010 at 01:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
duvid Says:

Definitely wondering if he released this statement willingly.

Sure it was willingly, didn't he say that Yemen is a tolerant country and that their rights are given?

28

 May 14, 2010 at 12:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

The Yemenite will be safer from assimilation with Ashkenazi Jews if they stay in Yemen. In their thousands of years of history in Yemen, they have stayed more true to their Jewish roots than the Hungarian Jews in Boro Park. You won't find any blue eyes or "aryan features" in Yemenite Jews.

Why put down Hungarian Jews?

29

 May 14, 2010 at 01:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

D'ya think it might be because the goyish neighbors in Yemen don't have any blue eyes or "aryan features", d'ya think?!

Or that the non Jewish neighbors in Yemen won't marry them. In Germany and Hungary the intermarriage was very high because the locals wanted to marry Jews, but in Poland even the freiyest person couldn't marry a Pole because they wouldn't marry a Jew.

30

 May 14, 2010 at 01:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
Anonymous Says:

Neither would you find blue eyes the entire Arab population, so quite frankly I do not get your point.

Her point was to berate Hungarian Jews.

31

 May 14, 2010 at 01:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #26  
Anonymous Says:

On that part you would be very wrong. There are blond haired, freckled faced, blue eyed Arabs in Middle East. I've seen them in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, West Bank....
Even if you travel to Iran, India or places like Afghanistan, you can see entire small towns with children running around that are light skinned, red hair, blue eyed. Historians trace their roots from the Alexander the Great conquests and European colonialism.

Don't need to go back all the way to Alexander the great. Slavery ended more recently.

32

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