Watch: The Yemenite connection to Jerusalem

Join tour in the Shiloach neighborhood that was a thriving Yemenite community before Arab riots and British soldiers expelled them.

Eliran Aharon ,

Dr. Joe Frager in Shiloach
Dr. Joe Frager in Shiloach

Dr. Joe Frager recently took part in a special tour of Beit Yonatan, a key building in the Shiloach (Silwan) neighborhood of Jerusalem to the southeast of the Old City. Arutz Sheva was on hand to record the visit.

Frager was given his tour by Mati Dan, director of the Ateret Cohanim organization that constructed the strategic building, and saw how the Jewish presence has grown in a return to the old neighborhood.

Shiloach was home to a thriving Yemenite Jewish community, until violent Arab riots beginning in 1929 forced them to be evacuated out by the British. They were promised they could return, but that promise was never fulfilled and Arab squatters have since occupied the neighborhood.

Frager saw first-hand the Arab graffiti in the neighborhood, including the word "Daesh," which is the Arabic acronym for Islamic State (ISIS), as well as Nazi swastikas.

He was told about how the father of former minister and major-general Rechavam "Gandhi" Ze'evi fought for the Jewish presence in the neighborhood, and recalled hosting a memorial for "Gandhi" in New York after his assassination in 2001 by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorists.

The minister had pushed for a transfer of Arabs out of Israel, noting how roughly 850,000 Jews were forced to flee to Israel in the 1950s from Arab lands.