Monday, May 9, 2011
The Story of the Yemenite Jews
My Memoir As An Activist For Israel And Yemenite Jews:Volunteers For Israel, The Yemenite Aliyah Of 1992, The Disappearance Of The Yemenite Babies During The Aliyah Of 1949-1954
Sampson Giat, XLibris
Sampson Giat was born in New york to Yemenite parents who made their way through Israel. on his mothers side the family left behind acres of farmland when they went to move to Israel. His father was Yitzhak Giat an artisan who spoke German and was known for his craftsmanship. They moved to New York in the 1930's as did many other Yemeni Jews. While a teenager Israel was just coming into existence. Sampson assisted by collecting funds and assisting both the Irgun and the Stern Gang. Like others in the Yemenite community, Sampson Giat was dedicated to Israel, Jews and the Yemenites. This dedication would persist throughout his entire life.
While in High school he learned to play the Oboe and became a professional musician. He borrowed money from his brother to buy one. He had several opportunities to play with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. he met with Isaac Stern several times. While playing with the orchestra he had his first encounter with racism. One Ashkenazi member mad mention of his dark skin and made a derisive remark. This would not be his only encounter with racism.
Later on he would become involved with volunteers for Israel. Volunteers for Israel brought American Jews to Israel at their own expense so they could volunteer on Israeli Army bases. Mr. Giat became very involved with this organization and eventually became the president for the organization. his involvement let to him sharing the dais at an event with Benjamin Netanyahu, who would later on become prime minister of Israel.
in 1949 Operation Magic Carpet brought many Jews from Yemen to Israel. Unfortunately many were left behind. close to two thousand in fact. These Jews did not enjoy the same rights as other citizens of Yemen. While everyone else enjoyed unrestricted travel rights such was denied to Yemen's Jews. The Jews of Yemen lived for the most part in poverty as did other Yemenis. Most Jews did not have access to education as did other Yemenis. They did not have any official Jewish school set up unless a community member volunteered to do it for free or funds came from the outside. Mr. Giat went to Yemen and saw the problem first hand. He saw that he would need to help of another government. That government would be the government of the United States not Israel. Senator D'Amato was instrumental in getting the Jews their travel rights. One should also be mindful Iryani's cooperation in securing those rights for Jews.
Mr. Giat's major battle was with Israel. shortly after the Aliya from Yemen Yemenite Jewish babies were stolen from their parents. Often time the parent were told that babies died. of course when the parents last saw the children they were healthy. The parents were never allowed to see the body and were never given death certificate. LATER on draft notices for the Israel Defense Forces would come to the parents of the deceased children. The children were sold abroad for 5,000 dollars by a sleazy Rabbi Bergman. It was an uphill battle against coverups by the Israeli government. one child was reunited with her family and this was confirmed by DNA. Chabad was instrumental with their Television show to say the least. To this daay the government still covers it up.
Rabbi Uzi Meshullam spent twenty years collecting data. The Israeli government surrounded his house shot it up and arrested the Rabbi and several of his students. One student was killed just for starting a generator. All of Rabbi Meshullam's students served the state of Israel with distinction and this is how they were treated. Today Rabbi meshullam is a broken man who is unable to receive visitors. his prison conditions were horrendous, Shame on the Israel government.
Mr. Giat finished off his career holding a banquet which was exhausting. His message was that the Yemenite community needed to unify.
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