Tuesday 6 June 2023

Israel’s disappeared babies

Nearly 40 years later, Gil Grunbaum found out that he had been secretly adopted

The story of Israel’s disappeared babies - By Jonathan Cook, 2017

The Israeli Government eventually declassified some 200,000 documents on the disappearance of thousands of babies after Israel’s founding.

The families, Jews from Arab countries, feared the infants were handed to wealthy Jewish families in Israel and abroad.

Three official inquiries concluded that most of the babies died due to disease or malnourishment.

READ MORE: The shocking story of Israel’s disappeared babies

Grunbaum is pictured in the late 1950s with his adoptive parents 

Most of the missing children were born to Jews who had recently arrived from Arab states and been placed in temporary camps.

Yemeni families suffered the largest proportion of disappearances, with possibly as many as one in eight children under the age of four going missing in the state’s first six years.

Some 50,000 Yemeni Jews were airlifted to Israel in the state’s first 18 months alone. Significant numbers came from elsewhere in the region, including Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia and the Balkans.

Some of the testimonies suggest that Israeli officials regularly forced parents to hand over their babies. 

Evidence hints at a trade in children.

Al Jazeera published the disturbing case of one baby sold by a clinic in Haifa in 1956.

The families of the children have long claimed that their mistreatment stemmed from the endemic racism of Israel’s establishment towards Jews arriving from the Arab world, a group popularly referred to in Israel as the


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