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February 27, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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February 27, 2009

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 27, 2009_ Israel spirits 10. rews out of Yemen courtesy of JAFI Welcome to Israel: Leah, Rachel, Yehoshua and Menashe Ben Yisrael, part of the 9-mem- ber family which arrived in Israel at Ben Gurion Airport in a special aliyah operation run by the Jewish Agency. In a special clandestine Jewish Agency aliyah op- eration, ten new immigrants from Yemen arrived in Israel Thursday, Feb. 19. The im- migrants included Sayid Ben Yisrael, a leader of the 200-strong Jewish commu- nity in Raida, Yemen, his wife and their seven children, and another Yemenite Jew. After landing in Israel, the Ben Yisrael family travelled with Jewish Agency staff to Beit Shemesh, where they Why is this issue different from all other issues? It's Big It's Colorful It's The SPECIAL PASSOVER ISSUE April 3, 2009 Advertising Deadline: March 25, 2009 For Further Information Call 407-834-8787 will settle. The other new immigrant will be going to the Jewish Agency's Ye'elim Absorption Center in Beer- sheva. Yemenite families will receive a special grant of $10,000 when they arrive in Israel. To date, there are 280 Jews still in Yemen, about 230 in the city of Raida and 50 in the capital of Sanaa, who moved there after their town came under attack by terrorists associated with A1 Qaeda. While Yemenite Jews have the special protection of the Yemenite President All Abdallah Salah, there has been growing harassment and attacks on Jews in recent years. These events climaxed with the Dec. 10, 2008 mur- der of Moshe Yaish-Nahiri, father of nine and Hebrew teacher in the local school, who was shot dead near his home in Raida by a Muslim fundamentalist. In response, the Yemenite government paid to relocate the city's Jews to the capital of Sanaa in January to better protect the community, but some Jews were refusing to move, according to a Yemenite news report, fearing it put them at yet greater danger. Working through several clandestine channels to ensure the safety of both those who chose to come and those who chose to stay, the Jewish Agency launched a special operation to bring Yemenite Jewish community members to Israel. New arrivals from Yemen: The Ben Yisrael family from Raida, Yemen, arrive Thursday, Feb. 19 at Ben Gurion Air- port in a special aliyah operation run by the Jewish Agency. (From back right) Father of the family, Sayid, wife Simcha holding their youngest son, Efraim, eldest daughter Esther, (middle row from left), daughters Leah, Rachel and Mazal and boys Menashe (center) and Yehoshua. Rescuing Jews from per- secution and ensuring their safety and success in Israel is a core mission of the Jew- ish Agency, said Aliyah Department Director Eli Cohen, who welcomed the new arrivals at Ben Gurion Airport. "The Jewish Agency is working continuously to ensure the safety of the Ye- menite Jewish community in light of recent events. We will strive to bring as many Jews as possible who are interested in moving to Israel from Yemen as quickly as possible." Conference: Anti-Semitic passions are aflame By Daphna Vardi LONDON (JTA)--Orga- nizers of Britain's Inter- parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemi- tism could not have an- ticipated the urgency when they scheduled the group's first-ever summit for this month. Coming just a month after Israel's war in Gaza prompted a spike in anti-Semitic in- cidents all over the world, the conference drew experts and public figures from 42 countries who said they faced challenges unmatched by anything they've seen for decades. "Now it is burning, and we have to work hard to put down the fire," the national director of the Anti-Defa- mation League, Abraham Foxman, said of anti-Semitic ferment. Presenters at the con- ference said the number and scope of anti-Semitic incidents worldwide have risen to levels not seen since the Holocaust. New tech- nologies make the spread of hate across borders easy and quick. And last month's outbursts of anti-Semitism from London to Caracas show a wellspring of hate against Jews just waiting to be tapped. In demonstrations in January against Israel's operation in Gaza, criticism of the Jewish state quickly turned to anti-Semitism, analysts said, with banners comparing Israelis toNazis. and Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. "Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism," said Michael Gove, a British member of Parliament. Gove said Islamist groups are uniting with the far left to try to delegitimize Israel and question its right to exist. "The extreme left is dress- ing it as anti-colonialism," he said. But in truth, Gove said, "the defense of Israel is central in the fight against racism." Former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler, who is a member of parliament, said the new anti-Semitism attacks the "Jewish collec- tive" by attacking Israel's right to exist as any other country. Whereas old anti-Semi- tism "wished to eliminate individual Jewish people," Cotler said, "the new anti- Semitism aims at getting rid of the Jewish state." "Many of those responsible for this new anti-Semitism are Islamist groups," said British parliamentarian Denis MacShane. Like MacShane, the vast majority of legislators who attended the conference were not Jewish. U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R- N.J.) told JTA that the way to fight anti-Semitism is by imposing serious penalties for its perpetrators. Smith said President Obama should not take part in the so-called Durban II.conference, a follow-up. to the notorious 2001 U.N. anti-racism conference that turned into an Israel-baiting forum. Smith also slammed the United Iations. "They pay lip service to the issue of anti-Semitism, but don't really act," he said. At British universities, some said, the atmosphere has become uncomfort- able for Jewish students as the residue of long battles over academic boycotts of Israel have turned into naked anti-Semitism. Brit- ish parliamentarian Tim Boswell said he has been in touch with university heads in an attempt to find ways of tackling the problem. Despite the bleak picture presented at the confer- ence, experts said they were encouraged by the posi- tive response of legislators who signed the declaration committing themselves to continue to work together, along with their respective governments, to halt the rise in anti-Semitism. Professor Robert Wistrich of the International Cen- tre for the Study of anti- Semitism told JTA that it is unprecedented that so many legislators get together and show that they really want to change anti-Semitic behavior. Professor Gilbert Kahn of Kean University in New Jersey said he sees a change in the attitudes of legisla- tors and governments that "recognize that they can play a role in the global battle against anti-Semitism."