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Comment and Opinion

Haaretz: No one did anything to defuse the Ethiopian-Israeli ‘time bomb’, by Anshel Pfeffer

Eleven years ago, I drove through the orderly small compound near the Israeli Embassy in Addis Ababa, where soon-to-be immigrants to Israel prepared for their journey to a new homeland. “Look at that – we’re importing a social time bomb,” said my guide, a senior Jewish Agency official.

Like nearly all his colleagues, he was highly critical of the politics and lobbying that had led to the decision to facilitate the immigration of thousands of members of the Falashmura to Israel.

From his perspective, the Falashmura – unlike the Beta Israel community of Ethiopian Jews that had been flown to Israel in Operation Moses and Operation Solomon in the 1980s and ’90s – were not eligible for aliyah as they were the descendants of Christians, with a tenuous claim to Jewish roots. Many of the leaders of the Ethiopian community already in Israel were of the same opinion.

Read the full article at Haaretz.