Ethiopian community center in Netanya 370.
(photo credit: Seth J. Frantzman)
The state has failed in the absorption of Ethiopian olim, Knesset State Control
Committee chairman Amnon Cohen (Shas) said at a committee meeting on the subject
that took place on Tuesday.
“We could have integrated them better and
faster,” he said.
The meeting was convened to discuss improvement of
Ethiopian integration efforts following the State Comptroller’s Report on the
matter published earlier this year, which revealed, among other problems, a lack
of coordination between ministries, a lack of knowledge of and familiarity with
the issue by decision- makers, and an insufficient
Director-general of the State Comptroller’s Office, Shmuel Golan,
said at the meeting that a “multitude of entities are involved in the absorption
process” and there is a strong need for “a coordinating body” since the
Immigrant Absorption Ministry cannot coordinate all aspects of the
Golan emphasized that the latest State Comptroller’s Report
stated that despite the high motivation of Ethiopian youths to join the IDF,
they tend to experience problems during their military services. According to
the report, in 2010, only 9 percent of them underwent professional training and
took courses for their military positions. Golan also stressed that army
officials have pledged to find a solution to the issue.
Yesh Atid MK
Pnina Tamnu-Shata, however, blamed the Immigrant Absorption and Education
Ministries for “squabbling,” adding that “immigrants are paying for these ego
State Comptroller Joseph Shapira noted at Tuesday’s meeting that
unlike other olim who cannot be recognized on the street, Ethiopian immigrants
continue to be identified as olim even if they were born in Israel. He expressed
his great “sympathy and special sensitivity” for the community.
to the report, as of 2012, some 120,000 citizens of Ethiopian origin reside in
Israel, representing some 1.5 percent of the total population. A third of them
were born in Israel.