Ethiopian protesters gather outside Interior Minister Aryeh Deri’s home. (The Heart of Israel)
Activists, Ethiopians say it’s time to bring the last Jews of Ethiopia to Israel
Seffi Blilin moved to Israel from Ethiopia nine years ago with her mother, father and four siblings. Her two older, married siblings were considered separate families and could not come over on the same immigration visa.
“We were told it would be a week, maybe a month,” Blilin told Breaking Israel News. “But they never made it here. We have not seen my sisters for nine years. My father died of heartache. My mother cries herself to sleep every night.”
Blilin’s family is Jewish. Two of her younger siblings are serving in combat units in the IDF. But while she continues to pressure the Ministry of Interior to bring her siblings home, there has been little action. She said they tell her that there is not enough money in the budget.
“They are Jews and they should be allowed to make Aliyah,” Blilin said.
On Tuesday, more than 100 activists and family members of the remaining 8,000 Jews in Ethiopia gathered in front of the home of Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, begging him to act to bring these Jews to Israel. The activists are protesting weekly on Tuesdays until a June 18 meeting of the special ministerial committee on the issue of Aliyah from Ethiopia. The fate of the 8,000 remaining Ethiopian Jews waiting to make Aliyah to Israel could be decided at the meeting.
In 2015, Government Decision No. 716 was passed, which calls for the approval of the immigration of 8,000 Jews who are waiting to make Aliyah. However, the government has not implemented the decision.
According to A.Y. Katsof, the Jews of Ethiopia are living in extreme poverty. Katsof is the director of The Heart of Israel, which is running a crowdfunding campaign to bring these Jews back to Israel and resettle them in the Biblical heartland.
Katsof said most Ethiopian Jews eat only one meal a day.
“They live in terrible conditions, in tiny, one-room mud huts with no sanitation,” said Katsof. “If they have food to cook, they prepare it on a coal or wood fire. As many as 100 people share a single bathroom. Nonetheless, they continue to remain hopeful and faithful to Judaism, Jerusalem and God.”
Adina Mekonen, an Ethiopian immigrant who today lives in Petach Tikva, volunteered in Ethiopia last Passover. She said “people are dying of hunger. You would not believe they can make it through the day.
“When I left, they said to me, ‘Don’t forget me,’” she continued. “But they have been forgotten.”
At the protest, dozens of Ethiopians told their stories. Mamush [last name withheld], for example, moved to Israel 10 years ago with her husband and oldest child. Since then, she has been waiting for her mother to be granted permission to move to Israel, too.
“My mother never met my youngest children,” Mamush told Breaking Israel News. “I want my family to be here in Israel. It is so hard to be alone.”
She said, “We are Jews, this is our land and we want to be in Israel.”
Members of Students for Justice in Palestine speak at the “Palestine Without Borders” session at the 2018 United We Dream National Congress. Photo: Youth Empowerment Alliance.
A pro-Israel group on Thursday denounced an “antisemitic” session recently hosted by an immigrant youth organization, which compared Israel with Nazi Germany and equated the movement for Jewish self-determination with white supremacy and genocide.
69% of progressives are ashamed to be Americans, but 63% are proud of their political ideology instead. The majority don’t attend religious services, but 73% list politics as their preoccupation.
Numbers from one poll showed that, “religiously unaffiliated Democrats were more than twice as likely to have attended a rally within the past 12 months compared with their religious peers” and were “significantly more likely to have contacted an elected official or to have donated to a candidate or cause” or “bought or boycotted a product for political reasons or posted political opinions online”.
Campus Week: A guide for Jewish students and their elders
Anti-Zionism ghettoizes Jews from the rest of the justice movement, putting a wall around us that separates us from other marginalized people. It cannot be reconciled with any movement striving for inclusivity. It denies us access to solidarity-based movements which should be fighting for equality, for historically oppressed peoples. As American Jewish students return to campus, they should prepare to be challenged academically and intellectually, and should also prepare to challenge movements that don’t respect Zionism and their Jewish heritage.
The Jerusalem Post reviewed a video showing two speakers who called for the “liberation of all of Palestine 48” and “we must take a stand and boycott Israel. BDS.” The slogan to “liberate all of Palestine” reverts to the founding of the Jewish state in 1948 and is widely considered a euphemism to cleanse Israel of Jews.
The German Middle East expert Thomas von der Osten-Sacken wrote an article on the website of the Austrian-based think tank Mena-Watch, with the headline “Speaker at indivisible demonstration calls for Israel’s destruction.” The protest was called #unteilbar (indivisible) by its organizers.
From 1998 to 2008, 5.4 million Congolese died as a result of civil war. Most of the Congolese asylum seekers in Israel came during this period.
It is now the turn of hundreds of asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to be deported back to their country. The Foreign Ministry has implied that the conditions that justified collective protection to Congolese asylum seekers no longer prevail and that there is nothing to prevent them from returning home safely. The Population, Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) has given them 90 days to leave the country.
With its decades-old track record of murder and mayhem, Hamas has already secured itself a place in the annals of infamy.
From bus bombings to underground terror tunnels to the indiscriminate firing of thousands of rockets and projectiles at Israeli towns and cities, the Islamic extremist group has repeatedly found new ways to sow widespread death and destruction.
Since Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005, the standard of living for the Palestinian people in Gaza has steadily declined, even though Israel gifted the Palestinians with thriving agricultural lands, productive greenhouses and beautiful beachfront communities.
Every once in a while, I come across a book that I can say changed the way I understand the world I live in. Raymond Ibrahim’s new book, Sword and Scimitar, altered the way I understand the development of our civilization – I mean the one that America inherited from Europe and made our own. It drove home to me how little I knew about the way Islam – in the form of attempted and often successful conquest – really changed the way our civilization evolved and the way it grew to understand itself.
American Thinker: “How War with Islam Shaped and Defined Us”
“In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews,” Hatem Bazian reportedly declared, “until the trees and stones will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him!”
That was in 1999.
Two years later, Bazian had co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine. Three years later, 79 members of his new SJP hate group were busted for disrupting a Holocaust Remembrance Day event.
Iran is a formidable enemy. A large country of more than 80 million people, endowed with energy riches, it has always been a regional power. Having an imperial past and revolutionary zeal (since the 1979 Iranian Revolution), Iran nourishes ambitions to rule over the Middle East and beyond. Furthermore, theologically there is no place in Iranian thinking for a Jewish state.