Netanyahu meets with dozens of new Ethiopian immigrants

The new immigrants are from nine families.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen meeting with Ethiopian olim. (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen meeting with Ethiopian olim.
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday with a group of 40 newly arrived  Falash Mura who landed in Israel on Monday, one week before national elections.
Their arrival, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office, was pursuant to the government decision – formulated by Prime Minister’s Office director-general Ronen Peretz – to bring to Israel another approximately 400 of the Ethiopians. The newcomers are not new immigrants, since they are not Jewish according to Halacha, notwithstanding that they have Jewish family members here, who accompanied them to the meeting.
The newcomers come from nine families and are being reunited with relatives who live in Israel. They are part of the Falash Mura community, descendants of Jews who converted to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries under duress but now seek to return to Judaism.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit opposed the government’s action, saying they did not need to be brought over immediately and that it was clearly a politically motivated decision ahead of the election.
Some 8,000 Falash Mura in Ethiopia are awaiting permission to immigrate to Israel, most of whom have some family members in Israel. A cabinet resolution in 2015 committed to bring all 8,000 to Israel by 2020, but limited money has been allocated in successive budgets to make that happen.
In October 2018, the cabinet approved a plan for the immigration of 1,000 candidates in the following year who met the criterion of having first-degree relatives who entered Israel under previous government decisions regarding the Falash Mura community. But in 2019 only about 600 arrived.
The Falash Mura are given citizenship upon their conversion to Judaism.
About 140,000 Ethiopians live in Israel.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.


Tags ethiopia