Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Israel: Immigration of Jewish Ethopians On Again

"Israel resumes airlifts of Jewish Ethiopians"
"Israel has restarted an immigration scheme for Ethiopians of Jewish descent after halting it for more than a year."
Photo: Brian Hendler, Jewish Agency

"Eighty-one new immigrants arrived on a flight from Ethiopia to Tel Aviv early on Tuesday morning.

It is the first flight since August 2008, when Israel said it planned to end the immigration scheme.


The Falash Mura community converted to Christianity under pressure in the 19th Century. Some 8,000 still in Ethiopia want to emigrate to Israel.

The scheme was halted in 2008 after the arrival of the last of some 20,000 people the Israeli government agreed to allow entry in 2003.

But campaigners have continued to press for those still waiting - many in poor conditions in transit camps - to be allowed into Israel...

Ethiopia's last remaining Jewish community, the Falash Mura trace their roots to the biblical King Solomon.

But they are not eligible to enter Israel under the Law of Return, which guarantees a place in the country for every Jew, because they have largely been unable to prove they are Jewish.

Ethiopian Jews who kept their faith throughout centuries of adversity were flown to Israel by the thousands in the 1980s and early 1990s.

The last mass immigration was in 1991, when Israel organised a dramatic airlift of 15,000 people who had fled fighting at the end of Ethiopia's civil war."

Read the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8467369.stm

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