Israel last week made public a database of 400,000 previously classified documents, concerning the alleged systematic kidnapping of babies from over 1,000 immigrant Jewish families since the 1950s, the Times of Israel reported.
When mass migration from different parts of the world into Israel began in the 1950s, there were many cases of babies being kidnapped from hospitals and refugee camps. This was especially common amongst Yemeni Jews. Babies were usually put up for adoption either inside Israel or abroad.
The Israeli authorities usually refused to investigate further and dismissed the cases. It was very common that the Israeli authorities would claim the kidnapped babies died in the hospital and close the case.
Bodies were not shown to the parents and locations of burials were not given. Many suspected that this was part of a conspiracy to ensure the Ashkenazi branch of Judaism, which is mostly followed by Jews of a European heritage, remains the most dominant in Israel.
“For close to 60 years, people did not know the fate of their children, in a few minutes any person can access the pages containing all the information that the government of Israel has,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Note: This page was updated at 08:06 GMT on January 10th, 2017 to correctly state that 400,000 documents were released concerning 1,000 families (and not 400,000 babies as previously stated), and to correct Benjamin Netanyahu’s title from “President” to “Prime Minister”.