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Hundreds Protest: 'Ask Forgiveness from Yemenite Families'.

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Hundreds of people demonstrated Thursday evening outside the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem to mark the Awareness Day for the Yemenite Children Affair. The demonstrators demanded that the government recognize the Yemenite children's case as a crime and do everything possible to heal the wounds of the families.

The initiators of the demonstration called for the State of Israel to conduct direct, transparent and sincere talks with the families and with civil society organizations in order to repair and heal the bleeding wound.

Amram general manager Naama Katin told Arutz Sheva that "our demand is clear and it is first of all to recognize this affair as a crime and of course the open cases and graves. There is still no official who had said that a crime has occurred here and the state takes responsibility. It is not too late to correct this and ask forgiveness from the families."

But questions still remain whether the Yemenite children were forcibly taken from Jewish migrants. For decades, hundreds of immigrants into Israel -- mainly Jews from Yemen and other Arab countries -- have claimed their children were kidnapped. In 2016, CNN the Yemenite Children Affair. Some say the children were sold to Eastern European Jews, known as Ashkenazim, or Holocaust survivors who couldn't have children of their own.

Three different committees have investigated the affair -- the Bahlul-Minkowski Committee in the 1960s, the Shalgi Committee in the 1980s, and the Kedmi Inquiry in the 1990s. All three found no evidence of wrongdoing, but the last of these sealed the documents until 2071, fueling rumors of a government cover-up. A genealogy company called MyHeritage has offered DNA testing to parents and children who believe they may be involved in the Yemenite Children Affair.

Professor Dov Levitan of Bar Ilan University can quote specific cases in the Yemenite Children Affair by name and date. He spent decades researching the stories behind the affair.

"It started as a rumor. Later on it became a myth. For many years, it has become a part of the narrative of the Yemenite Jewry here in Israel," Levitan said.

Levitan spent decades researching and found no proof of babies being stolen from their mothers.

He said most of the missing children died because of a high infant mortality rate among new immigrants -- and that other children were lost or sent to the wrong families in crowded immigration centers that relied on group nurseries.

Levitan says there has never been a smoking gun, and insists there never will be. "No one can give a witness, a testimony saying, 'I know, I have seen that this child or another child has been taken away, has been kidnapped, has been illegally taken away from the family,'" he said. "And you won't find it. I know those [documents], and you will not find it."

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Publication:Israel Faxx
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Jun 22, 2018
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