Netanyahu pushes to bring 1,000 Ethiopian immigrants to Israel

Responding to demands from the Ethiopian-Israeli community, Netanyahu vowed to facilitate the immigration of around 1,000 Ethiopians from the Falassh Mura community.

By: World Israel News Staff

At a meeting on Sunday of the ministerial committee that overseas issues related to the Ethiopian-Israeli community, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to help bring to Israel a significant number of new immigrants from Ethiopia.

At the meeting, Netanyahu commented, “[A]fter consulting with MKs [David] Amsalem and [Avraham] Neguise, I am pleased to inform you that I have decided that approximately 1,000 members [of the Falash Mura community] – whose children are already here – must be brought to Israel.”

Netanyahu noted that the decision follows immigration of 1,300 Falash Mura who already immigrated to Israel. The term “Falash Mura” refers to Ethiopians who claim Jewish descent but whose ancestors converted to Christianity either forcibly or voluntarily.

On Sunday, Netanyahu highlighted “the importance with which we have been handling this precious community, which is part of our people and part of our state.”

The comments were made at the 11th Meeting of the Ministerial Committee on the Advancement and Integration of Israeli Citizens of Ethiopian Origin, during which the prime minister also addressed issues related to racism and discrimination.

“We are not prepared to accept racism against the Ethiopian Jewish community or against any other ingathering in Israel,” vowed Netanyahu.

Currently, there are an estimated 7,700 Falash Mura remaining in Ethiopia, who may be permitted to immigrate to Israel by the end of 2020. While the Jewish state has a decades-long history of bringing Ethiopian Jews back to their ancestral homeland in Israel, including over 14,000 Jews in 1991’s 36-hour Operation Solomon alone, activists accused the current government of not moving quickly enough to bring the remaining Falash Mura to Israel.