Jerusalem — The Israeli government on Monday approved an airlift of 2,000 Jewish lineages to Israel, sparking an angry reaction from Ethiopian Israeli activists claiming that some 8,000 should be resettled.
Israel allows Jews from all over the world to settle there under the law of return, but does not grant such rights to those known as Falash Mura, the descendant of Ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity about a century ago. Or Jewish descent.
Kassahun Shiferaw, an Ethiopian Israeli activist, said, “We must have all our brothers and sisters here. “It’s not enough to just allow some of them to come.”
Ethiopian Jews, known as Beta Israel, have been largely cut off from the mainstream of Judaism for thousands of years, and their beliefs have evolved to somewhat different forms, but Israeli authorities generally recognized them as Jews. Tens of thousands of people have entered the country from Ethiopia, which has been persecuted since the 1970s.
But at one time A warm story The question of structure and solidarity is less rosy and raises questions about Israel’s racial acceptance. About 150,000 Israelis of Ethiopian descent often Excessive use of force by the police. Many of them have had difficulty integrating into Israeli society, and poverty and unemployment are high.
The location of Falash Mura (a term some people consider degrading) is weaker than that of the more beta Israeli population.
Although many of the descendants of Christianity converts are cautious Jews, the Israeli government does not consider them completely Jews. They need special permits to move to Israel, and even if they already practice Judaism, they must go through the conversion process upon arrival in the country.
In November 2015, Israel approved a plan to bring the 10,000 remaining Falash Mura into their territory by the end of 2020. Due to budget constraints. Since then, Israel has allowed about 2,000 Ethiopians to immigrate.
Plans approved on Monday will admit that about a quarter of the approximately 8,000 people remain, living in mostly devastated communities in the Ethiopian cities of the capital Addis Ababa and Gondar. Some have been trying to move to Israel for 20 years.
“Too many promises were broken,” Shiferaw said. “It’s time to make a decision.”
In a letter to Mr. Netanyahu, incumbent and retired Israeli officers from the Ethiopian community blew up government decisions.
“Although immigration continues around the world, it is immeasurable that quotas and restrictions apply only to the immigration of Ethiopian Jews.” Police officers said they all have siblings or parents waiting to come from Ethiopia to Israel.
Pnina Tamano-Shata, Minister of Immigration Absorption, who led the plan to bring in 2000 Ethiopians, said the government’s decision was “very interesting,” but admitted that he was sympathetic to the criticism.
“They are right,” said Tamano-Shata, the first Ethiopian Israeli to serve as government minister, referring to Ethiopian Israeli activists. “I think I should bring everyone here as soon as possible, but unfortunately I only got a budget for 2,000 people this time.”
The minister said it plans to submit to the government plans to move another 7,000 Ethiopians to Israel in 2021 and 2022, and the rest in 2023.
Tamano-Shata says the government has allotted $109,320,000 to bring 2,000 Ethiopians to Israel and help them absorb into Israeli society. She also said that all of them will be tested for coronavirus before entering Israel and must be quarantined for two weeks in a special facility or family home.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said he had a conversation with Ethiopian Prime Minister Avid Ahmed last week. He said he promised to help Israel’s efforts to take the Ethiopians to their territory.
Sephibilin, an Israeli Ethiopian who is waiting for two sisters, 22 and 29, to come to Israel from Addis Ababa said they are praying to be included in the 2,000.
“I don’t know if I’ll be successful this time, but I really hope so,” said 25-year-old Billylin, who last met the sisters on a trip to Ethiopia a year ago. “I don’t want to even think about the possibility of them falling behind again.”
In Addis Ababa, Amare Ezra said that both of her parents have already moved to Israel, but are still trapped in Ethiopia.
“I’ve been here for 18 years,” said Ezra, 40, waiting to go. “I hope that will finally happen.”
Simon Marks contributed to the reporting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.