Operation Magic Carpet (Yemen) - Possible Factors of Yemeni Jewish Immigration To Israel - Religion


Some would say that Yemenite Jews were motivated, according to Reuven Ahroni, by a 'messianic frenzy', indifferent to the great tribulations their travels would confront them with, and poured, uncomplaining, into Aden, half-starved and destitute. They were temporarily housed, while awaiting evacuation, at an encampment that was given the name Geula (Redemption). On the other hand, others would say that it was the state of Israel and the JDC that portrayed the motivation for Yemeni Jewish immigration to Israel during the Operation as a religious motivation. Tudor Parfitt acknowledges this and states that the conventional view is that “primitive” Jews immediately left Yemen in order to be redeemed by the Messiah in Israel. In addition, Meir-Glitzenstein writes Jews were portrayed as victims of hostile Arabs and portrayed Israel as their redeemer. This portrayal of Yemeni Jews is clear in the rhetoric of the JDC and of David Ben-Gurion, the prime minister of Israel.

In an announcement regarding immigration to Israel, the JDC tried to report from a Yemenite perspective and quoted a verse in Exodus 19 (also used for the mission statement of the Operation). The announcement linked the “primitiveness” of Yemeni Jews with their practice of Judaism. The JDC seemed to impose a religious motivation upon the Yemeni Jews. Meir-Glitzenstein calls this the portrayal of the religious motivations of the Yemeni Jews as the creation of “the myth of the magical rescue”.

In addition, the Yemeni Jews were seen as “yearning for Zion” and for David Ben-Gurion, the prime minister of Israel, the “messianic vision had replaced Zionist ideology. Ya’akov Shavit acknowledges that “the Ben-Gurion era was characterized by a degree of messianic rhetoric and pathos....”. As a result, those immigrating to Israel, specifically Yemeni Jews, were portrayed as the fulfillment of this messianic vision

The way in which the JDC and the state of Israel portrayed Operation Magic Carpet and the Yemeni Jews is important in order to understand the underlying religious motivations or lack thereof.

Read more about this topic:  Operation Magic Carpet (Yemen), Possible Factors of Yemeni Jewish Immigration To Israel

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