Operation Esther: Opening the Door for the Last Jews of Yemen


Book Description
Publication Date: November 15, 1998

Can ordinary people play a role on the stage of international diplomacy? Can just a few individuals deeply concerned about their brethren in a foreign land, persuade the government of a superpower to share their concern and persuade the government of another country to acknowledge and remedy a long-standing injustice?
Contrary to what cynics might assume, the tale of human rights activism told in Operation Esther proves that the answer to these questions, at least sometimes, is an unequivocal yes.

The world long believed that the Jewish populace of the Arab land of Yemen had been evacuated to Israel in 1949. In fact, however, several thousand Yemeni Jews remained behind. Unjust laws prevented them from leaving and cut off all communication with their families in Israel. As the years passed, children abroad had no idea whether their parents were alive or dead, parents in Yemen did not know where or how their children were, or even whether they had grandchildren. The emotional cost of this human suffering was enormous.

At last, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of ICROJOY (International Coalition of the Revival of the Jews of Yemen), chaired by Dr. Hayim Tawil, and of a few dedicated associates, the plight of Yemeni Jewry was brought to the attention of major political figures both in this country and in Yemen. Through ongoing negotiations and delicate applications of political and economic pressure, the tide was turned; Yemen's remaining Jews obtainted permission to leave and be reunited with their loved ones.

This amazing story as recounted by Professor Tawil in Operation Esther, is an inspiring paradigm of democracy in action. As its pages so powerfully demonstrate, a few men of great faith can sometimes move mountains.



Tawil presents the book Operation Esther to the US Ambassador to Israel Daniel C. Kurtzer, Tel Aviv, 2003