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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the key themes discussed in the book. The book focuses on the migration movement of Jews from Yemen to Palestine, and later, Israel, beginning in the late Ottoman period and ending with the mass migration of most of Yemen's Jews in the aftermath of the establishment of the State of Israel. Separate literatures exist on Jews in every country of the Middle East. These tend to be somewhat more historical than the homogenized studies, but by and large fit Mark Cohen's paradigm. This literature attributes Yemeni Jewish emigration either to persecution of Jews, coupled with messianic longings for the Holy Land or else views it as the result of religio-communal tension caused primarily by the Zionist movement. The book cautiously draws some generalizations out of the Yemeni Jewish case that may be relevant to the study of other Middle Eastern Jewish communities.

Keywords: Israel; Jews; late Ottoman period; Mark Cohen's paradigm; middle eastern Jewish communities; Palestine; Yemen



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