Political Analysis

The Demise Of Yemen’s Jewish Community

National Yemen

17 Yemeni Jews secretly airlifted to Israel

The Jew community have published their concerns over Houthis control the country, systematic discrimination by the ruling authority and society threatens to delete the history of Yemen’s remaining Jews.

Yahya Yaqoub swallows in fear every time he comes across the Houthi slogan – “Damnation to the Jews” – which has been plastered throughout northern Yemen since gunmen belonging to the Shi’ite group took over the Northern areas of the country, including the capital, last September. Yaqoub is the last Hebrew teacher in the only Jewish school in Raida-Amran, around 55 kilometers northwest of Sana’a, where Yemen’s final remaining Jewish community lives in isolation in the new-market area of the district.

The political and security instability in the country following the closure of foreign embassies and diplomatic missions in Sana’a has added to the Jewish community’s concern that if the Houthis decide to strike – and with the absence of a state – there is no refuge. Many Jewish men and boys hide their peyot (side locks), under a cap like those worn by Yemeni men in order not to be noticed and picked on. Hebrew teacher Yaqoub, who runs the only Jewish school from a room in his house where he lives with his wife and one of his four children, does this as well. He used to have dozens of students, but now seven boys and 10 girls are his only pupils.