Operation Magic Carpet Essay, Research Paper
Operation Magic Carpet May 5, 1998 In the 1950 s, Yemenite emigrated from Yemen to Israel. Their lives had changed in Israel in many ways. They were forced to change many habits and also live in a different way from what they were accustomed to. The Jews of Yemen trace their roots back to biblical times, and they were first recorded in the 3rd century C.E. Later on, in the early 1900 s and mid 1800 s there started to be a lot of restrictions. These included laws forbidding Jews from riding animals, wearing bright colors, or building houses above a certain height. They were also restricted from living in some cities or sections of cities or villages. They were also restricted from certain jobs; such as farming and sometimes carpenters. On the social ladder, Jews were the lowest, along with the non-Muslims in the country. Because of the really bad conditions that kept on getting worse and worse, Jews began leaving Yemen in 1882, mainly to the Land of Israel. Despite the fact that Yemenite ruler, Imam Yahya, forbade immigration to Palestine in 1929, one-third of the Jewish population (or about 16,000) made aliya between 1919 and 1948. In 1948, Yahya s son took away the rule which allowed the massive airlift of Jews to Israel. But around the Holocaust times, which were before 1948, the Palestine government only let seventy-five thousand people come into Palestine. But there were people that snook into Palestine, by going on secret boats, or when one boat had to be turned back, they jumped off the boats (but most died from that from hitting the water too hard or not being able to swim). The official name for the Aliya of the Yemenite Jews to Israel during the years 1949-1951 was On the Wings of Eagles but then called (Operation) Magic Carpet . But they got this official name (On the Wings of Eagles) from the Torah verse and I will carry you on the wings of eagles, while the unofficial name (Operation Magic Carpet) comes from the Arabian Nights stories. The Yemenite Jews called their aliya the Coming the of the Messiah. But before Operation Magic Carpet there was Operation Ezra and Nehemiah. The Jews of Yemen started out congregate in Aden, most of them arriving on foot, after long journeys through the desert. Though it was very hard, considering that the nearest airport was two-hundred miles away at Aden. Along the way they were looted and abused by the Arabs. Since the Suez Canal was closed to Israeli ships, the olim (The people on Operation Magic Carpet) were flown (directly) from Aden (which was a British colony next to Yemen) Israel. In about five-hundred flights fifty-thousand Jews from Yemen, eighteen-hundred from Aden and four-hundred Jews from Jibouti and Eritrea made aliya. When the Yemenites got to Israel, some kissed the ground and some prayed. The Yemenites thought that Israel would be the best place to live and that they would live so easy in Israel; just like the immigrants thought about America. But the Yemenites didn t know what they had to face in Israel. All in all six hundred and eighty four thousand and two-hundred and one immigrants more than the entire Jewish population when Israel was declared to be an official state came between May 14, 1948 and the end of 1951.In 1950 the number of olim grew so large that Israel could not bear all of these people. In the spring of that year when all the housing had been used up and there were no places to house the olim, the government began building ma abarot .A ma abarah only took about a few weeks to construct; therefore thousands of immigrants were provided with the temporary shelter in a short period of time. By May 1952, there were one-hundred and thirteen ma abarot with a population of two hundred and fifty thousand. A ma abarah means a temporary housing facility, only for a short period. More than two-thirds of the three-hundred and ninety-three-thousand and one-hundred and ninety- seven immigrants who arrived from May 1948 to May 1950, were settled in towns and villages: 123,669 were put in houses that were abandoned by the Arabs and 53,000 in permanent housing in towns and villages; 35,700 settled in moshavim (where the ma abarot were) and 16,000 in kibbutzim; 6,000 children were put in Youth Aliya.
Less than one-third (112, 015 people) remained in immigrant camps and the ma abarot. As the immigration increased, the ma abarot were filled to capacity. They had to find better methods to deal with the immigrants. They needed to find more permanent housing but it wasn t available yet. So in the ma abarot the immigrants would get work and jobs. By the end of 1951 two-hundred and twenty-thousand people lived in dozens of ma abarot. Their living conditions were very difficult. The first residents lived in tents one tent per family and sometimes two families. Later on (when the tents ran out) came cloth huts, tin huts and shacks. None of these were intended to live in there for more than a few years and most of the ma abarot were closed down between 1957 and 1960 but there were a few ma abarot that they were still being used in the mid-1970 s. It didn t take long for the Yemenites to get used to these ma abarot. They had to use food stamps, and they were always paid with minimum wage and they had too many children and relatives in the house to support with the few food stamps and coupons that they got every month or week. The Yemenites weren t treated very well either. They were almost treated just like before they came to Israel. They were also treated as if they were low-class and they hardly had any food or money to be upper-class. Most people didn t move out of their ma abarot for years, because they didn t have enough money to buy their own houses. The aliya results from 1948 to 1950 on Operation Magic Carpet forty-five-thousand Jews were brought to Israel. Now, unemployment among the Jews that were left in Yemen, is estimated to be about 30 percent of the population. The remaining community lives in Northern Yemen. They are made of the Yahood Al-Maghrib (Western Jews) and the Yahood Al-Mashrag (Eastern Jews). These Jews mostly live in villages in the vicinity of Saada, which is located in Sa ata Province, close to the Saudi border. The community is extremely small. Now people call Operation Magic Carpet mistake of the 1950 s , What were the mistakes of the 1950 s? ·Most of the people that immigrated to Israel didn t have passports. Around twenty thousand did have passports. The ID cards given to them gave them all a same month and day of birth: 00.00. Forty years later, they still have sixteen thousand passports like this. ·The Yemenites were supposed to leave the ma abarot but they didn t, so that left them with the poverty that they had when they had started, which isn t any improvement at all. ·In those ma abarot there were thousands of immigrants from Yemen and by the time the mud dried , hundreds of their children had disappeared. People have spent many years trying to figure out what the connection is between eight hundred and thirty mysterious adoption cases and eighty Yemenite children and their missing parents. Ami Hovav, and investigator from Bar-Ilan University who looked into this says the opposite: There was no kidnapping, no theft, no sale. The children disappeared because of the authorities that couldn t keep track of them. · They also went into the army and lost their religion . This is how the Yemenite Jews (or the olim ) had changed their live completely. BibliographyGilbert, Martin, Atlas of Jewish Civilization. Canada: Macmillan Publishing Co. 1985 Chissin, Chaim, Operation Magic Carpet- The Jews of Yemen Come En Masee to the State of IsraelIsrael: Israel Record Publishing 1997 The Internet World of Jews from Arab Countries, Refugees of the Middle East. London, 1997Burstien, Chaya M., The Jewish Kids Catalog Philadelphia: Library of Congress, 1983