The majority of the Yemenite Jewish community immigrated to Israel during the first half of the twentieth century. However, about 2,000 Jews remained in Imamic Yemen, subject to the rule of Imam Ahmad Hamīd al-Din (r. 1948-1962). The latter group generally maintained good relations with the Muslim majority.My article explores efforts between 1951 and 1962 to arrange for the Jews’ emigration from Imamic Yemen to British Aden, and from there to Israel. The operation was conducted in cooperation with Arab emissaries, able to move freely within Yemen. I uncover the identities of these emissaries, who acted to ensure the operation’s success. I also examine the economic and religious circumstances that led to this surprising choice of Arab involvement in a Zionist operation. I argue that the emissaries’ familiarity with the intricacies of local Yemenite politics facilitated the mission’s success.These operations present a vista for exploring the cooperation between the Zionist movement and the Muslim authorities, which encouraged the exodus of the Jews. For the Muslims, the exodus of the Jews made it possible to nationalize their property, to expand residential options, and to eliminate problematic political and religious elements.Finally, the article shows that the operation was successful; indeed, many Jews did leave Yemen. But this came at a price: some of the Jews suffered losses and their properties were confiscated, while other Jews decided to remain in Yemen and convert to Islam.
|Translated title of the contribution||Zionist Apostles? The Arab Emissaries in Yemen in the 1950s|
|Number of pages||19|
|State||Published - 2020|