Yemenite Jews in Sanaa
Yemenite Jews in Sanaa Reuters

Yemen's culture minister, who was recently honored for her work combating extremism and discrimination against women, says she is giving her award to Yemen's dwindling Jewish population, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Friday.

Arwa Othman won Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award in September. At a Thursday celebration in Sanaa, Othman called for "tolerance" and dedicated her award to "brothers and friends from the Jewish community."

Othman has been subjected to a smear campaign by hard-line Salafi groups because of her civil rights work and support for the Jewish community, noted AP.

Islamists have targeted Jews in Yemen with increasing frequency in the past few years. Examples include an attack in 2012, when a leading member of the Sanaa Jewish community was stabbed to death. His body was brought to Israel for burial in a in a protracted and complicated operation.

In another incident in 2013, members of Yemen's small Jewish community said that one of its members had been attacked and badly hurt in an anti-Semitic assault. The victim, Yosef Anati, was hospitalized in serious condition.

According to the Jewish Agency, fewer than 90 Jews live in Yemen, half of them in a guarded compound which protects the U.S. Embassy in the capital of Sanaa. Most of the Jews in Yemen have chosen to leave for Israel.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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