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.”
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.