Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yemeni Jewish Community Leader Murdered

by Daniel E. Rogel

A leader of the Yemeni Jewish community was stabbed to death in that nation's capital after a Muslim man accused him of witchcraft, the Jerusalem Post reports. The incident is the latest in a series of incidents around the Arab world which have threatened and uprooted the region's small remaining Jewish communities.

Yehya Zindani, the son of murderer leader Aharon Zindani, described the attacker as a "well-known person who says my father has ruined and bewitched him." The murderer, described by a Zindani family friend as a "member of al-Qaida," stabbed the Jewish leader 12 times before he was stopped by a group of local men.

Aharon Zindani had returned to Yemen after immigrating to Israel, rejoining the small Jewish community in the Yemeni capital Sana'a, which numbers around 80 people. Many of those living in the capital moved there from the Yemeni town of Raidah in December 2008, following threats from Islamist extremists and the murder of Jewish teacher Masha al-Nahari.

In the Arab world's largest remaining Jewish communities, in Morocco and Tunisia, the recent rise of Islamist politicians has awakened dormant anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitic chants at a Tunisian rally, welcoming Hamas' prime minister, prompted Tunisian Islamist politician Rachid Ghannouchi to apologize to the concerned local Jews. He, like many Islamists, claims that Zionism is the problem not Jewry, even if the distinction is often blurred.

While the hate hasn't scattered the lingering remnants, it has raised the sense of alarm.

Daniel E. Rogel


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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