Breakthrough in Yemenite Children Affair: WIZO gives special committee access to archives

The Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) agreed on Monday to give the special committee investigating the Yemenite Children Affair access to its archives from the 1950s. “We’ve completed another, and the most significant, step on the way to discovering the truth,” the head of the committee proclaimed in response to the decision.
A worker of the Israel State Archives looks at classified documents related to the Yemenite Children Affair Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Representatives from the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) attended on Monday a special discussion held by the Knesset’s Special Committee on the Affair of the Disappearance of Yemenite, Mizrahi and Balkan Children. For years, the Israeli social welfare organization has been denying the allegations that WIZO played a role in the disappearance of the children in the 1950s.

WIZO Director Sarit Arbel said during the discussion that her organization will fully cooperate with the special Knesset committee from now on. She also said that all documents and files related to the children under question will be sent over to the committee members, who will also have full access to the organization’s archives. It is believed that the records will help the committee investigate the affair.

During the discussion, evidence suggesting that WIZO was involved in the affair was presented. The evidence shows many children who went missing ended up at the various WIZO orphanages without any information about their birth or parents.

Head of the special committee MK Nurit Koren (Likud) said at the end of the discussion: “I welcome the opening of a direct channel between the committee headed by me and the WIZO organization and thank them for their cooperation and willingness to assist. The special committee discusses a painful subject, which is an open wound in the State of Israel’s history, and today, we’ve completed another, and the most significant, step on the way to discovering the truth.”

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