I didn’t believe it would happen. After everything we’ve already heard and read, I didn’t think it was possible to engage in even greater charlatanism surrounding the affair of the Yemenite children.

After all, we’ve already had festive declarations about reunions between abducted children and their “biological parents,” in spite of the fact that DNA tests proved that there was no connection between them. We have already watched a Knesset discussion where politicians determined that the doctors of Hadassah Hospital murdered Yemenite children to receive money for cardiac research; we have even had the privilege of watching an NGO that produced a film clip claiming that even the Mossad was involved in the affair, based on a document dealing with the “Mossad” (the Hebrew word for institution)… of WIZO, the Women’s Zionist Organization. What could beat all that?

Well, it turns out that isn’t the end of the story. About two months ago the grave of the late Yosef Melamed, one of the Yemenite children who was said to have been abducted, was opened to check whether he really is buried there. On Saturday night it was revealed that the national forensic medicine institute has proved that he really is him: In this case it wasn’t the establishment that lied, but rather the organizations and activists who for years told his mother, Shulamit, that her son had been kidnapped.

Because on the website of Amram – The Yemenite, Mizrahi and Balkan Children Affair, the story of Melamed continues to appear as an example of an abducted child (“the year of the abduction,” according to the site, was 1948), I asked Amram’s executive director, Tom Mehager, whether they intend to correct the information. His reply was shocking: “As of 1948, the child was abducted.” The reason: “His family didn’t see that he actually died.”

The chair of the association, Naama Katiee, went even further and wrote that Amram actually never claimed that “’abduction’ was abduction for the purpose of adoption.” This is a new level of denial of reality, or what the enlightened and well-informed members of Amram would probably describe, in other contexts, as “gaslighting.” They are well aware that there is a sweeping consensus that the authorities during the years in question buried children without informing the parents in advance. This is not the injustice that has been a subject of public debate for decades; instead, the debate centered on the claim that the children didn’t really die but were kidnapped and handed over for adoption.

Didn’t Amram make that claim? Read the description of the affair as it appears on the association’s website and judge for yourself: “The affair of the Yemenite, Mizrahi and Balkan children is the story of the abduction and disappearance of thousands of babies and toddlers from the families of new immigrants… The parents were told that their children had died, but the babies were kidnapped and handed over for adoption in Israel and abroad, sometimes for a large sum of money.”

At a certain point even in Amram they realized that they were unable to stand behind the sweeping accusation, and softened it to “some of the children were handed over for adoption.” The original idea – that even if it was proven that a child really did die, he is still considered kidnapped – is a new one, created for the purpose of dealing with the media-generated embarrassment caused by the case of the late Yosef Melamed.

Since the establishment of Amram, documents of Israeli commissions of inquiry that investigated the affair have been opened to the public, and helped to put things in order: What did in fact happen in the early years of the state (burial without informing the parents, racist attitudes), what didn’t happen (an organized mass abduction), and what may have happened (sporadic cases of kidnapping).

The association’s extreme declarations in the past became a burden when the picture became so clear that even Katiee was forced to admit: “We have no idea whether or not children disappeared here with malicious intent.” At the same time, incidentally, on Amram’s website they continue to tell us that this was a crime that can be defined as genocide, no less. Well, if a child who died can be a kidnapped child, I assume there can even be a genocide without malicious intent.

QOSHE - The Yemenite Children Affair, and a New Level of Gaslighting - Itay Rom
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The Yemenite Children Affair, and a New Level of Gaslighting

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29.09.2022

I didn’t believe it would happen. After everything we’ve already heard and read, I didn’t think it was possible to engage in even greater charlatanism surrounding the affair of the Yemenite children.

After all, we’ve already had festive declarations about reunions between abducted children and their “biological parents,” in spite of the fact that DNA tests proved that there was no connection between them. We have already watched a Knesset discussion where politicians determined that the doctors of Hadassah Hospital murdered Yemenite children to receive money for cardiac research; we have even had the privilege of watching an NGO that produced a film clip claiming that even the Mossad was involved in the affair, based on a document dealing with the “Mossad” (the Hebrew word for institution)… of WIZO, the Women’s Zionist Organization. What could beat all that?

Well, it turns out that isn’t the end of the story. About two months ago the grave of the late Yosef Melamed, one of the Yemenite children who was said to have been abducted, was opened to check........

© Haaretz


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