. . . FROM THEIR PARENTS
by the socialist beauracrats who thought/and still think they know everything. They robbed these innocent immigrants of their G-D given duty to raise their own children. The Torah is harsh against kidnappers and they should tremble in fear.
|Yemenite immigrants gather for a photo at Rosh Ha’ayin, in |
the early years of the state.. (photo credit:illustrative: GPO FLICKR)
The archive of records about the children who disappeared was recently opened, and Arutz Sheva interviewed Dr. Rafi Shovali, head of the organization “Achim V’Kayamim,” the forum of families whose babies disappeared. Dr. Shovali recently examined these records and he spoke about his preliminary findings.
"The archives are primarily a collection of investigative materials of the three committees who investigated the issue," he says and stresses: "these committees investigated the case in order to reach the truth, so I would not expect to find definitive statements. However, there are a lot of documents on the history of the period and many documents from the cases of the families who never received good answers.”
One specific example is a family file which stated that a child was dead and was buried in a certain place, but at the burial site there is no connection between what is written in the file and what is at the grave. The burial records also indicate that it’s someone else[’s] grave.”
There was also a general failure of the commissions who investigated the affair: "The committee did not summon many of the witnesses that the committee should have summoned in order to get to the truth." For example, they failed to summon “Miriam Ben-Porat, who was in the Prime Minister office and dealt with issues related to the Yemenite children affair. There were demonstrations in front of her home and allegations raised against her during the period of Rabbi Uzi Meshulem. They invited ministers and senior officials but not her. Why not?”
“We also wanted to know about Ami Hovev, who was apparently also involved behind the scenes and who was involved in the most current report. There were witnesses who were summoned but did not come. [. . .] There were other witnesses who came but were hardly questioned and got away with claims of ‘I cannot remember what happened.’”
What’s needed now, said Dr. Shovali, is to establish a parliamentary committee, a proposal that has already been introduced by MK Nurit Koren (Likud). Such a committee should discuss legislative action, laws regarding the archives, adoption laws, checking graves, DNA testing, and measures to provide access to information for the families involved.
There are also individuals who claim that they were kidnapped. One such case is that of "Tzvi Amiri, of North African descent, who was kidnapped from Rambam Hospital. His mother was looking for him. He grew up in Kibbutz Amir, and learned that he was adopted at an older age. He found his biological family and they had been told that he was dead. His mother at the time didn’t accept this and realized that something was wrong. She ended up having a mental breakdown. He found her hospitalized in an asylum. A whole family was destroyed because of what happened to him.” (ArutzSheva)
It was just “chaos,” the excusers say. The 50,000 Yemenite Jews who arrived in Israel during the first year and a half of independence had poor health and some children died. Sick babies were taken by hospitals to “recuperate” and name tags were misplaced. They died and were buried in unmarked graves. Yemenites didn’t speak Hebrew so they couldn’t find their children or interact with medical professionals.
I see the old photos of my ancestors from 1911 in New York City. The authorities at that time also thought the streets were crowded with foreign Jews. A cover of The Jewish Immigrant magazine in 1909 shows lines of elderly coming through Ellis island to be made anew into Americans. But no one took their children by the hundreds and buried them in unmarked graves. The chaos of migration did not give rise to thousands of missing babies. In Israel it did.
“The Yemenites are ingrates; they lack feelings and don’t appreciate what has been done for them,”
“Maybe we did them a favor,”
had to be taught “advanced western methods of child care.”
“even more primitive is the mode of life of the Yemenite Jew, who is happy to have any sort of home. Nevertheless these immigrants from Yemen are a valuable element for Palestine…cheap labor.”
Jews from Yemen and the Middle East as “primitive” and often as “impure,”
They were “human material,” living in squalor and stereotyped in the media of the time as sickly, disease-ridden, dirty, corrupt and “feral.”
“well, it died, go away.”
Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child notes “state parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will” and recognizes that the child “should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.”
. . . Yemenite children who disappeared were taken against their will from their parents” . . ."There is too much denial among some in Israel, too many excuses. When they say “chaos,” ask them if that chaos applies to their family? At Ellis Island we had chaos too. There was chaos on the kindertransport in the 1930s.”
[. . .] "The Yemenite infant disappearance investigation is based on the fact that many Yemenite mothers were told that their newborn infants or young children who were hospitalized for an illness had died. They were never shown the bodies or given the location of the burial place of their children. It was alleged, after an inordinate number of "deaths" aroused the parents' suspicions that the children were alive and that the staff of the hospitals gave the children to Ashkenazi families for adoption, thinking that the new immigrants would either not care as they had large families, that the children would be better off - or discovering a lucrative way to earn extra money.”
"Among those who testified before the first committee, the Kedmi committee, was Shmuel Avidor Hacohen, a rabbi and journalist. Avidor reported how in 1963 he visited New York and met a couple there - an Israeli mother, American father and a child who did not look like its parents. When I asked them quietly who the child was, they said it was a Yemenite child whom they had adopted in Israel.
"I got into conversation with them. I didn't think there was something serious here. They told me that they had adopted her and that there were many more families here that had adopted Yemenite children."
"Somebody mentioned that if you wanted to take a Yemenite child it would cost $5000 (equivalent to $50,000 in present-day values, ed.)," continued Avidor. "The matter was publicized but did not make waves and I did not pursue it further. It became clear to me that not just Yemenite children were involved, there were also North African children who were adopted.”
'Enough Shallow Apologies'
Ami Meshulam, the son of former activist Rabbi Uzi Meshulam who, in the 1990s demanded an investigation into the fate of the missing Yemenite children, has set out on a mission to completely clear his father’s name. More at ArutzSheva
POSTSCRIPT: There must be hundreds MORE stories like this one, and something really really truly must be done to turn over every stone to find these children and what happened to them.