Gov still believed corrupt over Yemenite children

New survey finds 60 percent of Israelis think current government is hiding information on disappeared Yemenite children.

Shlomo Piotrokovsky ,

Yemenite children in displacement camp in 1949
Yemenite children in displacement camp in 1949
Eldan David

Sixty percent of the Israeli public believes that the current political establishment is purposefully concealing the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Yemenite children.

The data comes from a new survey by the Midgam Institute, conducted by Dr. Mina Tzemach and the Knesset Channel.

Between 1948 and 1954 hundreds of babies and toddlers of Yemenite parents disappeared. Most cases occurred in hospitals, when new parents were told that their baby had died but were not given any more information. Advocates for the Yemenite community insist that the government gave or sold the children to Ashkenazi families, as part of a secret campaign to forcibly assimilate the fiercely traditional, religious Yemenite Jews into secular Israeli society.

However, government officials insist the reason for the disappearances is less sinister. They claim the babies in question either died at birth or were stillborn, and the rudimentary conditions of the Israeli health system, overwhelmed by an influx of immigrants, simply neglected to inform the parents of their babies' deaths. 

According to the study, only 16 percent of Israelis do not believe that the government is hiding information. The remaining 24 percent gave no answer.

Following the decision to keep the protocol dealing with the Yemenite children classified, 90 percent of the public wants to compel the government to release the protocol.

Only five percent of respondees believed the level of secrecy was justified and should be left in place.