Cabinet Approves Next Phase of Ethiopian Aliyah

ethiopian jews israel
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Aliyah and Absorption Minister Yoav Gallant (on his right) at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun/Pool)

The weekly Cabinet meeting approved on Sunday a plan endorsed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to bring another approximately 400 Ethiopians to Israel.

The group of 398 was supposed to have arrived in Israel last year as part of a 2018 government decision to bring 1,000 members of the community to Israel, but only 600 came, despite budget allocations for all 1,000.

Aliyah and Absorption Minister Yoav Gallant told the ministers that “around 40 years ago, as a commando, I had the privilege of helping to bring the first Ethiopian olim from the Sudanese coast. Today, we are working to bring the remaining Falash Mura, who have been waiting in Ethiopia, due to the elections process, for a year already. There are 398 people waiting for nothing in Addis Ababa and Gondar when they could be sitting today in absorption centers in the State of Israel.

“The State of Israel has a moral debt to the members of the Ethiopian community, who serve in the IDF and contribute in all aspects of life, to unite with their family members who have been left behind. I commend the Prime Minister for leading this effort,” Galant added.

Referring to the difficulties encountered by the Ethiopians in Israel, PM Netanyahu said, “We are also committed to the full integration of members of the community into Israeli society. We are working for this without respite and we will continue to do so.

“Of course, we will continue to work in the country with full force against expressions of racism everywhere, and certainly in every part of the government and the public. We are against this; we truly understand the feelings of the sons and daughters of the community. From time to time, every few weeks, I have convened here a meeting of government ministers to deal with all needs but first of all this basic need – to understand how they feel, to change the public approach and to truly take a very clear stand against all expressions of racism in general and against our brothers and sisters in particular.”

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