According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. State Department officials are conducting a secret operation to bring some of Yemen’s last remaining Jews to America to escape rising anti-Semitic violence in their country.
In all, about 60 Yemeni Jews have resettled in the U.S. since July; officials indicate another 100 could still come. There were an estimated 350 in Yemen before the operation began. Some of the remainder may go to Israel and some will stay behind in a government enclave.
The operation followed a year of mounting harassment, and was coordinated together with various Jewish organizations.
Here’s more from WSJ: Secret Mission Rescues Yemen’s Jews
The State Department took something of a risk in removing the Yemenis to the U.S., as it might be criticized for favoritism at a time when refugees elsewhere are clamoring for haven. The U.S. calculated the operation would serve both a humanitarian and a geopolitical purpose. In addition to rescuing a group threatened because of its religion, Washington was seeking to prevent an international embarrassment for an embattled Arab ally.
President Saleh has been trying to protect the Jews, but his inability to quell the rebellion in the country’s north made it less likely he could do so, prompting the U.S. to step in. The alternative – risking broader attacks on the Jews – could well have undermined the Obama administration’s efforts to rally support for President Saleh in the U.S. and abroad.