Saturday, May 9, 2015
Yemenite Jews of Silwan had been advised to evacuate the village by the British
Yemenite Jews of Silwan had been advised to evacuate the village by the British, following bloody disturbances during the Arab revolt and Arab attacks in 1921 and 1929. The evidence explodes the myth that Arabs mixed happily with Yemenite Jews.
"In 1884, the Yemenites moved into new stone houses at the south end of the Arab village, built for them by a Jewish charity called Ezrat Niddahim. This settlement was called Kfar Hashiloach or the Yemenite Village. Construction costs were kept low by using the Shiloach as a water source instead of digging cisterns. An early 20th century travel guide writes: In the “village of Silwan, east of Kidron … some of the fellah dwellings [are] old sepulchers hewn in the rocks. During late years a great extension of the village southward has sprung up, owing to the settlement here of a colony of poor Jews from Yemen, etc. many of whom have built homes on the steep hillside just above and east of Bir Eyyub,” The Yemenite Jews living in Silwan were evacuated on advice of the British authorities in 1938, during the Arab revolt. After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Silwan was annexed by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It remained under Jordanian occupation until 1967, when Israel captured and liberated the Old City and surrounding region. "
We ask why the 19 years of Jordanian occupation give Arabs a greater right to Silwan than the 100 years when Jews lived on the site.