The Exodus Continues..........
14 November 2010 Last updated at 11:13 ET
Israel to allow in 8,000 black Falash Mura Jews from Ethiopia
Falash Mura arrive at Ben Gurion airport (19 January 2010) (Photo:
Brian Hendler, Jewish Agency) Israel restarted the immigration scheme
for Falash Mura in January
Israel's cabinet has approved a scheme to allow into the country nearly
8,000 Ethiopians of Jewish descent.
Many members of the Falash Mura community are living in poor conditions
in transit camps in northern Ethiopia.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israelis had a moral duty to
resolve the "complex humanitarian crisis".
The Falash Mura's ancestors converted to Christianity under pressure in
the 19th Century and so are not eligible to emigrate under Israel's Law
Thousands who were deemed eligible by Israel have arrived in smaller
groups in recent years, but the flow was largely halted in 2008.
'Worst living conditions'
At the weekly cabinet meeting, Mr Netanyahu said the remaining Falash
Mura would be brought to Israel over the next three years.
“ These are the seeds of Israel - men, women and children - that
currently find themselves in the worst living conditions” - Benjamin
Netanyahu Israeli Prime Minister
Six hundred would arrive as soon as next year, and in the three years
that follow 200 would make the move each moth, he added.
"The government of Israel wants to solve this problem, because there is
a difficult humanitarian crisis there," the prime minister told
"These are the seeds of Israel - men, women and children - that
currently find themselves in the worst living conditions," he added.
Ethiopia's last remaining Jewish community, the Falash Mura trace their
roots to the biblical King Solomon.
But they are not eligible to enter Israel under the Law of Return,
which guarantees a place in the country for every Jew, because they
have largely been unable to prove they are Jewish.
Ethiopian Jews who kept their faith throughout centuries of adversity
were flown to Israel by the thousands in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The last mass immigration was in 1991, when Israel organised an airlift
of 15,000 people who had fled fighting at the end of Ethiopia's civil
More than 100,000 Jews from Ethiopia are believed to live in the
country. They make up one of the poorest sections of Israeli society.