A group of dedicated activists have been working tirelessly over the past several years to force the state to come clean about the disappearance of hundreds of Yemenite children in the early days of the state. They might just succeed.
One of the aspects that is easiest to forget about the Yemenite children affair is that it is not a historical one. The disappearance of hundreds of Yemenite babies is not an old story, but rather a continuing injustice — even today. For the families who lost their children, who still do not know their fate, it has been a festering wound for nearly 60 years.
This means living an entire life of pain and doubt, of knowing that you wake up in the morning and drive to work, go to the supermarket, pay taxes, while your country remains silent over the disappearance of your child or your sister. That the doctors who treat you were educated by those who took part in disappearing children. That politicians deliberately prevent the state from formally recognizing the injustice, from apologizing, from compensating the family, and from supporting the attempt to find the children. That one of your close family members, whom you have never met, could pass you by on the street without knowing they have another family.
It is an unbearable burden to have to carry for 60 years. To understand the pain, all one needs to do is listen to just a few of the hundreds of testimonies published by Amram, an Israeli NGO dedicated to researching and exposing the disappearance of the Yemenite children. Through the tears of the parents, sisters, and brothers, one can understand how every day without answers is another day that the children are kidnapped — all over again.
Over the past few years, a small group of dedicated activists from Amram and other organizations have been able to break through the silence. They do not organize in a vacuum — it was the decades-long struggle by the families that led them to the journey toward recognition. Exposés published in newspapers such as HaOlam HaZeh in the 1960s and Haaretz in the 90s also broke that silence. The heroic struggle of Rabbi Uzi Meshulam, who led a...Read More