Israel’s Black African Priorities

by David Bedein, INN

Rescue operations conducted by the government of Israel to bring more than 16,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel represented one of the few times in history that a Black African community willingly and enthusiastically moved to a majority-White Western country. From the point of view of Ethiopian Jewry, they had come home to Zion. Having visited Ethiopian Jews during their trek from Ethiopia during Operation Moses in 1984, this reporter heard numerous stories from Ethiopian Jews about their own prophetic lore. Passed down from one generation to the next was a tradition that Ethiopian Jews would be repatriated to Zion when the last emperor of the Solomonic dynasty would fall. And when Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, was overthrown in 1974, that was one of the signs that Ethiopian Jews would indeed come home.

Although Israeli Jews of Ethiopian origin now number more than 100,000, there were some Ethiopian Jews who were left behind. They are the 15,700 Ethiopian Jews from a group known as the Falash Mura, the remnants of Ethiopian Jews who had been forcibly converted over the course of previous generations. After intense pressure, the Israeli government made a decision on February 16, 2003, that anyone who can trace maternal descent to Jews of Ethiopia would be allowed to return to Israel under the Law of Return. The Israeli government then launched Operation Promise to raise funds to bring this last community of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

With expectations raised, these 15,700 Ethiopian Falash Mura have moved their residence into three temporary compounds in the Gondar region of Ethiopia, awaiting their repatriation to Zion. However, the Israeli government will only allow 300 Falash Mura per month to arrive in Israel. No one in the Israeli government will give an explanation as to why such a low quota exists.

Meanwhile, although the Israeli government is supposed to be providing “Immigration Eligibility Forms” for the Falash Mura, no Israeli government representative has visited the three compounds where the Falash Mura have been lingering since the decision to bring them to Israel. No Israeli government official will give an explanation for this policy.

However, the Israeli government is making every effort to absorb at least 5,000 Muslim Sudanese refugees from Darfur, who are leaving transit camps where they had been living in temporary accommodations in Egypt. The Israeli collective farms known as kibbutzim are absorbing the Darfur refugees and giving them work in exchange for room and board. How an unpaid Muslim population will integrate into Israeli society is a question that no one in Israel is prepared to deal with.

Now the Jewish State prepares to welcomes Black African non-Jews, who are strange to Israel, while it turns its back on Black African Jews who perceive Israel as their home. To learn more about the plight of remaining Ethiopian Jewry, check out the web site of The Struggle to Save Ethiopian Jewry at

June 27, 2007 | 2 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. The Falash Mura are not Jews, never have been Jews and a best can claim some family relationships with Jewish Ethiopians already here. They don`t qualify under the law of return. Only the political pressure by those Ethiopians living here have pressured the Israeli Govt. to allow any of them in. On the other side of the coin we have taken in what some say upwards of 500 thousand non Jews from former USSR. and hundreds of Pali Arabs under family reunion program as well as hundreds of thousands who are living in Israel illegaly. Now we are getting influx of Sudanese from Egypt.If one were to add 4-5 hundred thousand illegal foreign workers one could make a demographic argument that the real problem is already here living in Israel. What ever moral obligation Israel might feel in receiving Sudanese We are still too small with too many other unsolved social problems to add more problems to the mix. They were in amps in Egypt and while I must concede that the Egyptian treatment and conditions imposed on them were not high by any modern standard they at least were safe from being murdered. If we don`t apply the breaks now we could be inundated by hundreds of thousands very quickly and in this the Egyptians will use as another weapon to weaken us and to Blacken our name in the liberal world communities. The anti- semites will use this to compare us with the Nazis and at best to absolve themselves for not saving Jews in WW2 and by saying we are no better than they were.

    For non Jews wishing to live in our Jewish Country there are legal requirements and procedures like every other country. Those non Jews who may desire to become citizens as Jews may convert and then claim rights under the Law of Return.
    For the Liberal and Political Left in Israel and abroad who never cease to remind us of the supposed demographic time bomb of Holding on to the West Bank and mostly base their arguments for relinquishing these lands, seem to have no problem absorbing hundreds of thousands of legal and illegal Arabs into Israel. Importing and or employing illegal aliens in their work places and homes. Allowing the vanguard of what might be a flood of Africans into Israel, and hundreds of thousands of non Jewish immigrants from former USSR. It just proves the point I have always made and that is the Israeli Left are at best confused and ill informed and at the worst antisemites, or Jewish self haters who could for lack of a better term be considered TRAITORS AGAINST: ZIONISM

  2. For many obvious reasons, it was especially heartening to read the conclusion of Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni’s greetings on Africa day:

    ” Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to conclude my remarks by extending to the countries and peoples of Africa our warm wishes for a successful future of economic and social development.
    I would like to take advantage of this platform and this special occasion to call on the organization that unites the African states, that works for their advancement and welfare and whose “birthday” we are celebrating today – the African Union – to improve and normalize its relations with Israel. It will give a true collective expression to the many bilateral friendships we enjoy with most of its member states. It will mean clear and neat rejection of fanaticism and of extremism by the African Union. It will reinforce the camp of the moderates and it will contribute to create a favorable atmosphere for the building of peace, of security and of prosperity.
    In other words, the major needs of the peoples of Israel, of its neighbors and of Africa. Long live our friendship. Long live Israel. Long live Africa.
    Shalom. ”

Comments are closed.