‘Disgruntled Ethiopians could be next Black Panthers’

Former MK warns that Israel must improve living conditions of Ethiopian immigrants or country could face radical protests from community.

May 26, 2011 04:04
1 minute read.
New citizens at a mock Seder at Mevaseret Zion.

Ethiopians Seder 311 (do not publish again). (photo credit: Flash 90)

Israel must improve the living conditions of Ethiopian immigrants, or it could face radical protests from within that community, a former minister of immigrant absorption said on Wednesday.

Former Meretz MK Yair Tsaban said that if such improvements aren’t made, “we will see Black Panthers in the same style that they had in the US.”

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Tsaban added Israel must strengthen its welfare state and “the struggle against racism in every way.

Tsaban’s statements came during a speech at a conference held at Tel Aviv University titled “Integrating Migrants: From Civil Society to Public Policy,” which brought together educators, representatives from Israeli NGOs and the Jewish Agency to discuss the issues of absorbing Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants into Israel.

In his comments, Tsaban also drew from his experience as Immigrant Absorption Minister from 1992 to 1996, and said that it is necessary for the state to respect multiculturalism when absorbing immigrants, and respect their native cultures, while at the same time helping them assimilate into society.

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