Israel’s Bait-and-Switch

Ha’aretz reports:

The United Jewish Communities of North America yesterday issued an unusual statement accusing the Israeli government of reneging on its promises, in view of the Finance Ministry’s intention to reduce the monthly quota of Ethiopian immigrants from 300 to 150.…

About 18 months ago, the government decided to increase the monthly quota of Falashmura immigrants from 300 to 600, and asked American Jewry for urgent assistance. The prime minister at the time, Ariel Sharon, even made a personal appeal to Jewish community leaders in the U.S. when he visited New York last year. The response was a special campaign entitled “Operation Promise,” which set the goal of raising $100 million to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel and help settle them.

“We suspended the rest of our activity and focused on this campaign,” says a senior UJC official in Israel. “Now they’re making a laughing stock out of us.” …

The UJC statement said that not only had $70 million been raised so far for the Falashmura, but in the past month U.S. Jews had contributed an additional $270 million in an emergency campaign to aid Israelis, including Ethiopians, who were hurt by the war.

A delegation of American Jewish community leaders visited Israel about two months ago and raised tough questions about the government’s failure to increase the monthly immigration quota to 600 after asking them for money to that end. “Already then they couldn’t understand this. What will we tell them now?” the senior UJC official in Israel said. “We’re dealing with a deep problem of trust here. This will exact a price. The next time we come to ask them for money, they might think twice.”

Why in the world should anyone trust the word of this Israeli government?



Filed under Ethiopian Jews, Israel, Jewish Leadership

4 responses to “Israel’s Bait-and-Switch

  1. Paul Freedman

    Shmarya–do you have any idea as to how many Ethiopian Falashmura are stranded in temporary settlements in Ethiopia awaiting in-gathering to Israel? Are there villagers not yet relocated to holding areas within Ethiopia who would qualify?

    Why indeed?

  2. צהלי

    There are more than 12000 jews waiting in Addis to migrate to Israel. They all need to reunite with their families in Israel and they are all eligible.
    Why? The same reason why your european father needed to emigrate to the US.

  3. Paul Freedman

    Zahali, you misunderstood me: the question is why indeed would anyone believe Olmert’s government not why would they qualify–whether through family reunification or prior agreement as to their oleh status. sorry.

  4. Sheket!

    Who’s a Falash Mura? couldn’t about any Ethiopian be a Falash Mura??

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