The new government of Yemen, comprised of Houthi rebels who seized power over the past year through a series of violent and successful campaigns, has issued an ultimatum to the country’s few Jews: Islam or death.
Upset by lack of representation in the past government andi its pandering to neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia, the rebels violently overthrew the standing government, instating an anti-Western, Islamist one in its place.
Despite Saudi-led airstrike support, the former government has been unable to reclaim the country.
Now, the rebel government has issued an ultimatum to the approximately 80 Jews who remain in the country: convert to Islam or be murdered by extremist lynch mobs.
Ayoub Kara, a Druze lawmaker with contacts throughout the Arab world, reported to the Jerusalem Post that Jews in Yemen were, “given a stark choice by their government: convert to Islam or flee the country.”
As chants of “Death to America,” “Death to the West” and “Death to Israel,” rang out through the newly-seized capital last year, whole sections of the population began to put these actions to words.
Now, with little to hold back anti-semitic violence, Yemen’s few remaining Jews are looking to leave, and fast.
Since 2009, when violence in the region began to escalate, Jews in Yemen began fleeing. As Houthi rebels made progress against the government, most of the remaining Jews left.
The few still present Jews are now eager to escape and will be assisted by the nation of Israel, which has special procedures and governmental bodies in place to facilitate this escape.
Although the details are still sensitive, Kara claims that the Jews of Yemen are critical of the Jewish Agency, despite the agency’s claims that it has long been involved in extraction operations in the region.