Some one thousand persons participated in a protest that took place at Kiryat HaMemshala (the government precinct) in Tel Aviv on Monday, September 25, demanding the state admit to the abduction of children of immigrants from Yemen, the Middle East and the Balkans during the first years of the state. Protestors carried signs condemning Israel for this dark chapter during the nascent stages of the country’s history, proclaiming “A land that kidnaps its children,”,] “Kidnappers for the state,” and “The child is dead, but the grave is empty.”
Demonstrators blocked traffic on adjacent Kaplan Street in the city, brandishing signs with photos and names of missing children and their parents, while chanting: “Recognition, healing, justice!”
Since the 1950s, more than 1,000 families — mostly immigrants from Yemen, but also dozens from the Balkans, North Africa and other Middle Eastern countries — have alleged their children were systematically kidnapped from Israeli hospitals and put up for adoption, sometimes abroad.
Attending the protest was Joint List MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) who sat alongside 88-year-old Shoshanna Nachshon (formerly Hashen), the mother of a toddler who was pregnant when she arrived in Israel in 1949. Both children were individually taken away from her, and officials told Shoshanna that they had died. But She was never shown the bodies.