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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Knesset Wants to Stall the Immigration of Ehiopian Jewry

This article regards an issue that needs a lot more press coverage and reporting. I may even do a more in depth piece on it. Like the Sudan, Ethiopa has begun to be over-taken by Muslim "extremists". They have basically given the people a simple ultimatum as they conquer the entire north-east African region; "Convert to Islam or die". At the same time, thousands of Ethiopian Jews, called Falash Mura, are awaiting their Aliyah to Israel. At this critical time, their Aliyah may be their only savior from either certain death, a life-time of dhimmitude, or be forced to convert to another religion. As it was in the 1930s in Germany, these Jews' lives are situation and time critical. However, when their Aliyah is at a life-saving point, most of these Jews may have to wait until it's already too late for their Jewish savior to come and rescue them.

Claiming that the budget has to be reformatted because of the recent war, the Knesset members on the Budget Committee have said that they will have to cut in half the number of Falash Mura allowed to make Aliyah every month. However, members of the World Zionist Organization that are involved in this project, say that the Ministry is violating all promises, agreements, etc. with this latest announcement. According Shlomo Molla, they were promised that if outside fund-raisers were able to accumulate at least $100 million in order to expediate the Aliyah, the allotted number would remain, and the Aliyah would proceed at the agreed upon rate. But, don't take my word for it. Read the article, and learn for yourself. If any-one has any ideas on how to advocate for this cause, please please let me know. Promoting the immigration of Ehiopian Jewry is now more important than ever. In fact, we should be forcing the government to hasten their Aliyah even faster. If we don't act fast, there may not be any Ethiopian Jews left to make Aliyah.
Israel’s Finance Ministry is proposing substantial cuts to Ethiopian immigration next year as part of widespread belt-tightening following Israel’s war in Lebanon.

The plan, announced Tuesday as part of Israel’s proposed budget for 2007, would halve the number of Ethiopian immigrants brought to Israel per month, to 150 from the current rate of 300.

If adopted, the change would represent a major setback to U.S. backers of Ethiopian aliyah, who launched a $100 million campaign last year designed in part to pressure the government to increase the rate of Ethiopian immigration. Israel’s Cabinet decided in March 2005 to double the rate of Ethiopian immigration to 600 people per month, but the decision was never implemented.

“I hope the Jewish leaders overseas will understand this breaks all the rules, all the agreements, all the understandings,” said Shlomo Molla, an Ethiopian-Israeli politician and head of the World Zionist Organization’s department of Zionist issues. “We won’t let this happen. It’s a scandal.”

The proposal to slash Ethiopian immigration signals the failure of a complex agreement reached a year and a half ago to complete mass Ethiopian immigration to Israel by the end of 2007.

That agreement would have seen the takeover of Jewish aid compounds in Ethiopia by the Jewish Agency for Israel, the end of lobbying campaigns for immigration by the main Jewish advocacy group in Ethiopia and the raising of more than $100 million by North American Jews to help Israel foot the bill for the airlift and absorption of up to 20,000 additional Ethiopians.

The collaborative effort was intended to bring the mass Ethiopian aliyah to a close in under three years.

Now it seems the estimated 12,000 remaining Ethiopian petitioners for aliyah — known as Falash Mura — will have to wait even longer in shantytowns in the Ethiopian cities of Gondar and Addis Ababa before they can emigrate to the Jewish state, if at all.

“I think it’s morally reprehensible,” Stephen Hoffman, president of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, said of the proposed budget cuts. “We’re going to obviously ask the government not to go in that direction.”

The Israeli government repeatedly has delayed implementing the decision to accelerate the aliyah, with various ministries shifting the blame. Under the current budget proposal, an increase in the aliyah rate wouldn’t be reconsidered until the 2008 budget discussions.

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At 8:54 AM, Blogger Chai18 said...

it just makes you realize how much bigger of miracle the state of israel is that it has survived for so long under a "government" of such idiots.

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

You said it!


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