Likud restores Ethiopian olehto spot on Knesset list

Kadima's Mula: Ethiopian voters won't forgive.

The Likud's internal court decided Monday to restore Ethiopian-born Aleli Admasu to the 28th slot on the party's Knesset slate that is reserved for an immigrant, a week after the party's election committee replaced him with Russian-born Vladimir Shklar. The committee had decided that Admasu wasn't eligible for the immigrant slot because he had made aliya in 1983, two years before the year established by the committee as the earliest date of immigration for a candidate to still be considered a new immigrant. But the court ruled that Admasu had received the necessary permission before the December 8 primary to run for an immigrant slot and that he had not tried to evade the party's rules by seeking the slot. Admasu said he was pleased by the decision and that "justice had been done" for the Ethiopian community in Israel. Shklar vowed to appeal to the Tel Aviv District Court, where "real judges" would rule on the matter. Kadima MK Shlomo Mula, who was elected to the 19th position on his party's list on Wednesday without needing a reserved slot, said the court's decision did not change the statement he made last week about the Likud being "an Ashkenazi, elitist party." Mula said he was happy for Admasu and that he wanted to see as many Ethiopian immigrants as possible in the Knesset. But he said he doubted that very many of them would vote for Likud after Admasu's ordeal. "He was only able to come back because he fought for it," Mula said. "The Likud did everything possible to prevent him from running with them. He had to force himself on the Likud while Kadima members welcomed me by giving me the 19th slot. The Likud's behavior disgusted many Ethiopians, who now won't vote for the party, even with him." In the 2003 election, Kadima won the overwhelming majority of the votes in Ethiopian population centers, such as the absorption center in Mevasseret Zion, the area near the Shahal School in Netanya and Rehovot's Kiryat Moshe neighborhood.