I have, in my possession, a book called “On Eagle’s Talons”. It tells the tale of child kidnappings, deceit, theft, cultural genocide and murder of Yemeni Jews by the secular Zionist establishment. Following is an excerpt (my translation):
On Eagle’s Talons
The Entire Truth About Operation Flying Carpet
Many of those who read this book, when they raise their heads for a short break between one chapter and the next – will ask themselves, in their bewilderment: “Did these things really happen?” “Could such a crime truly have happened amongst the People of Israel?” and if this really is the case – then it requires a thorough house cleaning and perhaps even a change of values.
Then let me add this: “Indeed this horrible deed was done in Israel”… and much more than what is written here… for it is impossible to find all the material that has been written and printed, the archives and stories about this matter – for it is vast.
Here we have an attempt to present the material in a concise way, partly as a personal story and partly as documentation of events and an outline from the sources.
I strove to cite a source for each claim, so that each reader will be able to clarify, for himself, the details from the sources but even where a source is not cited the narration is still accurate. I didn’t want to add too many footnotes unnecessarily since the goal of this book is to be read and not as a scholarly source that would be limited academics.
Where is Yosele?
New and instructive details about the disappearances of the children of Yemen
The Bahajli family, from Rosh ha’Ayin, arrived at the transit camp in 1949. The father relates that, when they got to the camp, his four month old son was taken from him and transferred to the “infant ward” that had been erected in the camp: “One day we came to see him, and we were told that he was at the hospital. We searched in all the hospitals, but the child was not found…”. After some time had elapsed, the management of the camp requested the infant’s rations coupon (at that time, food was distributed according to coupons). The family turned to the officer of internal affairs and to the national president but they were not answered.
(“Al haMishmar” 07/08/1966)
The Marhabi family relates: “We arrived at Camp ‘Ayn Shomer. It was midnight. We carried with us a few packages that we’d brought from Yemen, and I held my one year old baby, Shoshana. They registered us and we went to the tent. After an hour the nurse came by and told us to give her the baby because it’s forbidden to hold babies in the tent”. The mother went to nurse her daughter in the infant ward until one day the nurse told her: “Ma’am, your daughter has died”. To her question: “How and why and what about the funeral?” the nurse replied: “I don’t know; it’s not my job to deal with dead children…”
(letter from Ginzekha haMedina 12/19/1950)
One thread leads to – the health department
In “Al haShomer”, a periodical of Mapam (the Israeli Communist party), which was active with new immigrants, we found a shocking opinion from a writer who had a conscience:
Under the heading: “What is the truth regarding medical treatment for the children of the camps (10/05/1949), writes Yirmiyahu Shmueli, about the lax medical treatment that was given to children of the camps and to immigrants in general. He notes that in many cases children died as a result of gross neglect on the part of medical teams and/or mistakes in treatment. The accusations were so severe that the writer demanded the formation of an investigative committee to investigate the crimes.
The director general of the Health Department – Dr. Y. Meir – who was concerned about the ramifications of this letter, invited the writer in order to “investigate the accusations” (or really to explain the severity of the damage that the publicity caused, or is likely to cause…). The director of the Health Department at that time, Hayim Moshe Shapira, was apprised of the problem but still supported his people.
In “Ginzekha haMedina” is preserved a letter by the “Unified Confederation of Yemenite Immigrants”, regarding the disappearance of children from hospitals. The letter was presented to the police commissioner, Bechor Shitreet and to the director of the Health Department. In one case the police “investigated” even then, the complaint of Yihye Suberi about the disappearance of his son. In another instance the newspaper “Davar” published an article (19/29/1950) under the headline “Where are the Babies?” In this article is told the story of a baby by the name of Mosha ban Salim Najar, who was brought to the hospital in Tel-Levinsky (Tel haShomer), and when he recovered – he suddenly disappeared.
The director general of the police at the time, Y. Sahar, appealed to the director of the Health Department with this letter and proclaimed that the police report reveals a serious blight among hospital officials in the transit camps – a situation that requires fixing.
(letter from 11/03/1950)
Maghuri Cohen, a member of the Knesset of the “Herut” party, who is also the son of Yemeni immigrants, brought this up at the Knesset on 11/20/1950 and claimed: “Children were taken from their parents and the parents don’t know where to!”… He also asked: “Is this some kind of business or parcel packages!?” He complained about the director of the Health Department, who ignored his letters and requests on the matter, and the director of the Health Department continued to be silent and to silence others.
In one instance, the Health Department investigated the complaint of Avraham Yosef Yisrael, concerning the disappearance of his daughter, Si’eeda. The conclusion they gave the father in the end was that his daughter had died, but when the family sought her grave, it turned out that “there is no record of such graves”.
The story of Yosef Si’eed from the transit of Rosh Ha’ayin was published in the newspapers. The echoes of this incident were destined to reach the ears of government officials who were responsible for various departments and who dealt with immigrants from Yemen.
A thick smoke of silence accompanied stories of the disappearances of the children of Yemen.
(Haboker, Hatsofeh and Ha’aretz all from 03/07/1952)
On the Matter of The Children of Yemen
Here we shall quote a portion of an article that was published in newspapers from this month.
… a conspiracy of silence surrounds, to this day, the issue of the disappearance of hundreds of Yemenite babies who were taken (by force) from their parents as they arrived in Israel and who apparently were given over for adoption to influential families.
(The profit here was double: a] to remove them from their religion and b] monetary gain)
One of these fathers was ‘Ovadia Si’eed from Moshav Tavuoth. Today he is 65 years old. He arrived in Israel with operation “Magic Carpet” in 1950.
His daughter, Zahara, 10 months old, was taken at the airport from her mother’s arms (by force) by a nurse who worked for the (Jewish) Agency. All traces of her were lost from that day.
For decades her father, ‘Ovadia, tried to trace her whereabouts – in vain! From time to time he would send pleading letters to tens of Knesset members requesting an investigation into the issue of the disappearance of the children of Yemen – in vain!
“Ha’aretz” continues to tell of the commerce that took place in Brazil with babies who were taken from their parents, and demands, in their naivety, an investigation into the disappearance of the children of Yemen. (As if the thieves will investigate themselves?!).
“Are we beasts whose children’s fate is up for grabs?” asks the unfortunate father.
Not only did they make no serious effort to find the babies but they also afflicted the parents with false illusions!
In one letter from the director of population registration of the Department of the Interior, which was sent to the poor father, he says that his daughter, Zahara, is registered as somebody who immigrated in April, 1950 and that there is no other information. However, in a letter from the Immigration and Registration Department in the same office it is recorded that Zahara left Israel in 1963.
What response will the religious officials and Knesset members have?
There was a period when Jewish children were kidnapped by the Russian Tsar Nikolai to serve in his army in 1827 in order to estrange them from their religion. From that time, for over 120 years such kidnapping have not been known among the nations – the State of Israel renewed the tradition.
The investigator, Dov Levitan, who arranged a comprehensive investigation into the matter, notes in his investigation that each complaint was treated as an isolated incident despite the multitude of cases and their breadth. No attempt was made to connect the cases or to see them as a wider problem. This was first made clear at the end of 1952, during an internal investigation of the investigative branch of the police department. According to this investigation, which examined six cases of children disappearing from Yemeni households, the police were not able to solve even one case!
Yeshurun Shiff of the investigative branch turned, in writing, to the director general of the Department of Health, as he notes: “We shouldn’t be indifferent to this unfortunate situation and I believe that it will cause waves within the public”. That is to say: The fear was from full revelations to the public and this was what caused him to write the letter. Among the official reasoning for this communiqué, notes the writer that, if the public finds out and the newspapers report the matter properly, there will be shame and anger”.
Perhaps this communiqué was partly to serve as an official alibi? For we see, a case such as this necessitates a large police investigation within the Health Department and not just being satisfied with a “warning” and an invitation for “internal clarification” to answer the charges.
A Yemeni mother and a Medical Professor
Hundreds of children born to Yemeni mothers have disappeared. Most of them got death certificates. However the heart thinks otherwise.
There is a more logical suspicion: that the children did not die but were given over for adoption.
By Eliezer Davidson
This week the newspapers published a very important fact. It regards Mrs. Sarah Aharon, who turned to the High Court of Israel.
Mrs. Aharon, who emigrated in 1949 from Yemen during operation Magic Carpet, is convinced that the son she bore when she arrived in Israel, did not die – as the government claimed – but rather was given for adoption.
This legal plea focuses the spotlight once more on one of the shameful chapters of the immigration of the Jews of Yemen to Israel.
257 additional Yemeni Children disappeared in the early 50s
It is known that 30 of them are still alive and now efforts are being made to locate them * 170 of them do not appear within Department of Internal Affairs records at all * the number of missing children has now reached 599
– By Amos Nevo of “Yediot Aharonoth” –
257 new incidents of children who disappeared during the great migration from Yemen to Israel in the early 50s, were revealed over the last few months. With this, the number of missing Yemeni children reaches 599.
This new information is now being checked by the Public Council for Finding Missing Yemeni Children. Dov Levitan, from the University of Bar Ilan, who is researching the topic, says that the latest findings have made it clear that 50 children of the 257 new cases have died. 170 have no record within the Department of Internal Affairs and 30 are still alive. Now efforts will be made to locate them. Until now it was known that 342 Yemeni children were missing; only four of them were found alive. In the wake of these new efforts Yehoshua Kahana, manager of registration of citizens at the Department of Internal Affairs, has given an official statement to the head of Internal Affairs and an advisement to set up a governmental investigative council to get to the bottom of these disappearances. A similar advisement was tendered about a month and a half ago by the Internal Council of the Knesset to President Shimon Perez.
Report of negligence by the Health Department
From the report composed by Mr. Yahel – manager of the hospital division of the Health Department – it is recognized that he understood the hint and what was expected of him.
The report raises the specter of dedicated doctors working under adverse conditions and attacks those who organized the immigration for “lack of protocol” in registration. He also attacks the parents for “not understanding what was said to them”, even though the Health Department and those in charge gave the parents “all the information”. Dr. Yahel also emphasizes two incidents where parents did not demand their children from the WIZO Institute. It seems that, in those cases, the people of WIZO “granted themselves permission” to give those children over to adoption. Here we must note that during those difficult times, when the Yemenis lacked modern work skills as mentioned above, there were those who worked far from home and only returned to the camp after months had elapsed.
From the report we can see that Dr. Yahel was aware of the claim that the Ashkenazim sold the Yemenis to Ashkenazi families for adoption. In response to this he writes: “Had there been an attempt to take children without permission, it would have been by parents seeking to take the children of others because of the chaos that reigned”…
The researcher Levitan adds his notes to the report:
A) If it is true that the Health Department was not responsible for negligence and crimes at all – then why were the requests for information, of 1949-1952, not answered?!
B) Not only this, but why was “TOP SECRET” written on the report?
C) From the letter, it is implied that the Health Department was aware of the claims. If so – why did it not counter them, and disprove them, at that time?!
The researcher Levitan agrees that the questions remain unanswered, however there are explanations to these questions, and they are: the chaos that reigned, at the time, within government offices where there was a free for all. Not only this but – the general attitude that prevailed in certain corridors that Yemeni Jews are their own private property.
The “deceased” who refuses to be forgotten
500 missing aged 35-40. Their 400 families were told that they had “died”. Most were even told how they were buried, but this “deceased” refuses to be forgotten. In one week those 400 Yemeni Families, whose children disappeared through mysterious circumstances, are to gather together and demand that interest in this matter be renewed publicly. “Firstly we shall find those lost children, then we shall take care of whoever needs to be taken care of” – says Yosef Yighal –head of the local council of Rosh ha’Ayin who is responsible for the gathering. Whoever is involved with these things and recognizes the new circumstances has what to be worried about – an old/new “A social bomb” is about to explode in Israel.