Former UJC Head: “It’s because they’re from Africa. That what I believe. I hate to say it. I’m embarrassed to say it. But I don’t have any other explanation”

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Bringing the remaining Falash Mura to Israel is not necessarily a priority and the delay of their immigration is not simply a matter of money, Interior Minister Roni Bar-On told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

He made his comments following a meeting of the ministerial committee devoted to the subject, which decided not to increase the rate of immigration of Falash Mura from 300 to 600 a month despite the previous government’s commitment to do so.

Jewish Agency Chairman Ze’ev Bielski was opposed to delaying the pace of immigration, while Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze’ev Boim was “uncomfortable” with Tuesday’s decision, according to sources in his ministry.…

Ethiopian activists and American Jews involved in raising money for the Falash Mura condemned the decision as racist and not based on financial reasons.

“I can’t remember a time in Israel’s history when aliya policy was decided by budget considerations. I find it even more puzzling that [this decision] would be made at a time after the government decided to cut the VAT… The government has the financial wherewithal to do right by Jews returning to Israel,” said Steve Hoffman, who is president of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and was the president of the United Jewish Communities when the UJC started to work on a campaign to raise $100 million for the Falash Mura.

Hoffman called the NIS 3.5-to-4-billion estimate “overblown,” while Israel-based immigration professionals also expressed surprise that money was cited as the reason for delaying the Falash Mura immigration rate, since they thought the funds had already been budgeted. A spokeswoman for the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, however, said that only resources for the current rate of 300 per month were currently available.

Hoffman attributed Israel’s alleged disinterest in bringing the Falash Mura to race.

“It’s because they’re from Africa. That what I believe. I hate to say it. I’m embarrassed to say it. But I don’t have any other explanation,” he said.

For his part, Bar On claims to be concerned about the poor quality of absorption and the formation of “ghettos” as a result. However, it should be noted that Bar On has not proposed a solution to the absorption problems, nor has he suggested funding any solutions to them.

Perhaps American Jewish leaders are finally beginning to realize what Ethiopian Jewry activists said 25 years ago is true. Racism is endemic in Israeli political circles. 25 years ago, the same could be said for American Jewish leadership, as well. Thank God that is largely no longer the case.

Related post here.



Filed under Ethiopian Jews, Israel, Jewish Leadership

4 responses to “Former UJC Head: “It’s because they’re from Africa. That what I believe. I hate to say it. I’m embarrassed to say it. But I don’t have any other explanation”

  1. Hal2000

    Sorry, Bub. I for one wish that American Jewry was as honest and accountable as their Israeli counterparts.

    The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society has forced thousands upon thousands of African peasants on America that we gentiles are forced to support virtualy 100%.

    Why not take some of that loving, caring liberal feeling and dump them on Israel for a while?

    We have to take them here in America (not in Skokie, Hollywood, Crown Heights, Monsey or Lakewood, of course) but Israel gets a free pass.

    Until the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society starts dumping Somalis and Bantus in American Jewish neighborhoods the way the Falash Mura are dumped in Israeli Jewish neighborhoods, we can expect the hypocrisy to continue.

    Sorry, Bub. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If the American nation gets stuck with shvartzes by the thousand, so should the Jewish nation.

  2. hashfanatic

    Hal, I find your divisive and racist comments disgusting (not to mention utterly baseless).

    Perhaps you need to go off somewhere and contemplate exactly was your role is in G_d’s world, how you may have overexaggerated your own self-importance (“not in Skokie, CH, Monsey, etc.”, indeed) and realize that your presence both here and in Israel is one of suffrage and not anything close to acceptance, and adjust your style of commentary somewhat.

    This is not a blog for regressives.

  3. Yochanan Lavie

    I teach in a public school in Harlem. My best students are those from West Africa. They are smart, and respectful of authority(unlike many young people of any background today). Yes, as an American I want controlled, legal immigration. (Every country needs to control its borders). But by all means send me more “shvartze peasants.”

  4. Anonymous

    By the time they get here, these hot, black eyed Mura and their mishpoches are gonna be seethin’ with irk, anger, grudge, hatred, envy and revenge for the Israelis for the delays…. in other words they’ll already have arrived as TRUE Israelis!

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