Review of The “Magic Carpet” Exodus of Yemenite Jewry: An Israeli Formative Myth, by Esther Meir-Glitzenstein Sussex Academic Press, £67.50 / $89.95, published in The Jerusalem Post Magazine January 10
By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
In 1949 they came from all over Yemen, from 1,000 villages, often traveling on foot to reach camp. “It was a desert place without any sign of vegetation. Refugees living in matted huts, like sardines, living a base, primitive life. The camp has 4,000 people and babies are born every day,” recalled Ethel Slonim, a nurse who had arrived in Aden, now Yemen, in 1948. Many died en route, and in the camp.
Yet even more than half a century later, the traumatic immigration is thought of as a miracle. Why has the myth of the Yemenite migration not been fully understood for what it was: a massive tragedy in…
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