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Remembering the 1947 Pogrom in Aden

Last Saturday marked the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of anti-Jewish riots in the Yemenite city of Aden, then a British protectorate. Anticipating a violent response to the November 29 UN decision to partition Palestine, local Jews had organized to defend themselves and, when the vicious attacks by their neighbors began, were at first successful. Dani Goldsmith and Sarah Ansbacher write:

[O]n the second day of rioting, the British dispatched soldiers to “protect” the Jews. They sent in the so-called Aden Protectorate Levies (APL), a British-trained Bedouin legion. Instead of protecting them, however, they directed their rifles against the Jewish community and shot them as they ran through the streets and even while they sheltered in their own homes. There are harrowing first-hand accounts, such as that of a thirteen-year-old girl whose father was hit by a sniper in front of her eyes as the family stood on the roof [of their home]. . . .

The mobs were emboldened by the actions of the APL and the terror intensified, a bloodlust kindled by hate and opportunity. They went on a rampage with knives and set fire to homes and schools. Synagogues were burned, Jewish-owned shops were looted and wrecked. Everyone and everything belonging to the community was a target. . . . On the third day, the killing, injuries, and burning of homes continued unabated. Only sometime after midday did the commanders of the British army intervene and send in marines, who were moored at the port, to quell the riots.

The results of the three days of terror were dreadful. Eighty-seven Jews, members of the local Aden community and Jewish refugees from [the independent kingdom of] Yemen, had been slaughtered or burned to death. The count included children, women, and the elderly. Nobody was given quarter. Over 70 more were seriously injured. The two Jewish schools, several synagogues, and many homes had been destroyed; almost every single Jewish-owned shop had been looted and some burned down.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, History & Ideas, United Kingdom, Yemen

Europe Has a Chance to Change Its Attitude toward Israel

Dec. 15 2017

In Europe earlier this week, Benjamin Netanyahu met with several officials and heads of state. Ahead of his visit, the former Italian parliamentarian Fiamma Nirenstein addressed a letter to these European leaders, urging them to reevaluate their attitudes toward the status of Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israel-Palestinian peace process, the gravity of European anti-Semitism, and the threat posed by Hamas and Hizballah. In it she writes:

For years, the relationship between Europe and Israel has been strained. Europe tends to criticize Israel for simply defending itself against the continual threats and terrorist attacks it faces on all its borders and inside its cities. Europe too often disregards not only Israel’s most evident attempts to bring about peace—such as its disengagement from Gaza—but also chides it for its cautiousness when considering what solutions are risky and which will truly ensure the security of its citizens.

The EU has never recognized the dangers posed by Hamas and Hizballah, as well as by many other jihadist groups—some of which are backed by [the allegedly moderate] Fatah. The EU constantly blames Israel in its decisions, resolutions, papers and “non-papers,” letters, and appeals. Some of Europe’s most important figures insist that sanctions against the “territories” are necessary—a political stance that will certainly not bring about a solution to this conflict that . . . the Israelis would sincerely like to resolve. Israel has repeated many times that it is ready for direct negotiation without preconditions with the Palestinians. No answer has been received.

The European Union continues to put forth unrealistic solutions to the Israel-Palestinian issue, and the results have only aggravated the situation further. Such was the case in 2015 when it sanctioned Israeli companies and businesses in the territories over the Green Line, forcing them to close industrial centers that provided work to hundreds of Palestinians. The Europeans promoted the harmful idea that delegitimizing Israel can be accomplished through international pressure and that negotiations and direct talks with Israel can be avoided. . . .

[Meanwhile], Iran’s imperialist designs now touch all of Israel’s borders and put the entire world at risk of a disastrous war while Iran’s closest proxy, Hizballah, armed with hundreds of thousands of missiles, proudly presents the most explicit terrorist threat. Europe must confront these risks for the benefit of its citizens, first by placing Hizballah on its list of terrorist organizations and secondly, by reconsidering and revising its relationship with Iran.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Europe and Israel, European Union, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israel diplomacy