Jan 23, 2021

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has called on the Iranian-backed Houthi terrorists in Yemen to immediately and unconditionally release Levi Salem Musa  Marhabi, a Yemeni Jew who is being held hostage by them.

The State Department issued a statement on Tuesday where Pompeo expressed his full solidarity with the Jewish community of Yemen saying that Washington “stands with the Yemeni Jewish community” while calling for Marhabi’s release.

Mike Pompeo (Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia commons)

“Mr. Marhabi has been wrongfully detained by the Houthi militia for four years, despite a court ordering his release in September 2019,” Pompeo said. “His health continues to deteriorate as he languishes in a Sana’a prison, where the threat of contracting COVID-19 is a real possibility.

He also said that “Mr. Marhabi is one member of an ever-shrinking community of Yemeni Jews, who have been an important part of Yemen’s diverse social fabric for thousands of years.  We call on the Houthis to respect religious freedom, stop oppressing Yemen’s Jewish population, and immediately release Levi Salem Musa Marhabi.”

The secretary of State isn’t the only one in Trump’s administration to have called for Marhabi’s release. Back in August, Elan Carr, the White House’s antisemitism czar, also called for Marhabi’s release tweeting: “The Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have a record of persecuting religious minorities. Levi Salem Musa Marhabi, a member of Yemen’s small Jewish community, has endured 4 years in prison despite a legal order for his release. We join in calling for his immediate release.”