The Road to Redemption: The Jews of the Yemen, 1900-1950
Since the rise of Islam, Jews have been living in the Yemen as the only non-Muslim minority. Their status, never enviable, deteriorated in the twentieth century as the Imam Yahya sought to maintain the full force of Islamic law and local custom. The attempts to create a Jewish National Home in Palestine, Arab propaganda, new economic realities and local resentments had the effect of further undermining their position. While battling to maintain their rights, the Yemenite Jews started trying to emigrate. British immigration policies in Palestine, the Imam's efforts to prevent them from leaving, and British regulations in Aden often frustrated their efforts. This movement of people was to culminate in 1948-50 in what was then the largest human airlift the world had ever seen - Operation Magic Carpet - when the Yemenites were taken 'on wings of eagles' to Israel.
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