Posted by News Express | 18 September 2018 | 981 times
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that around 1,000 Ethiopian members of the Falash Mura, would be allowed to immigrate to Israel.
The 1,000 Ethiopian Jews is a sect of Jews that was forced to convert to Christianity.
The move, which still leaves around 7,000 Falash Mura in Ethiopia, came as Israel’s Ethiopian Community said the long-stalled immigration was rooted in racism.
Netanyahu said that he is “determined’’ to proceed with the immigration, adding that 1,300 of the sect have already been flown to Israel under his government.
“This is a very important decision, but there needs to be a complete programme to allow the entire 8,000 to come,’’ Avi Yalou, a leading Israeli-Ethiopian activist, told dpa.
“If they were white, they would have all immigrated,’’ Yalou added.
Some Falash Mura has been waiting decades to immigrate.
Netanyahu said that the 1,000 Falash Mura approved for immigration already have children living in Israel.
Under Israeli law, all Jews are able to gain Israeli citizenship.
However, Israel has at times disputed the sect’s Jewish roots, claiming that some Falash Mura are economic migrants seeking a better life.
Some Falash Mura succeeded in immigrating to Israel within larger waves of Ethiopian migration during the last few decades.
There are now around 120,000 Israelis of Ethiopian descent in Israel.
In 2015, the government approved the immigration of the remaining Falash Mura over five years, but the process stalled due budgetary issues.
“This isn’t because they aren’t Jews, this is because they are black,’’ said Yalou. (dpa/NAN)
•Members of Ethiopia's Jewish community hold up pictures of their relatives in Israel, during a solidarity event at a synagogue in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Feb. 28, 2018.
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