Rescue operations conducted by the government of Israel to bring more than 16,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel represented one of the few times in history that a Black African community willingly and enthusiastically moved to a majority-White Western country. From the point of view of Ethiopian Jewry, they had come home to Zion. Having visited Ethiopian Jews during their trek from Ethiopia during Operation Moses in 1984, this reporter heard numerous stories from Ethiopian Jews about their own prophetic lore. Passed down from one generation to the next was a tradition that Ethiopian Jews would be repatriated to Zion when the last emperor of the Solomonic dynasty would fall. And when Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia, was overthrown in 1974, that was one of the signs that Ethiopian Jews would indeed come home.

Although Israeli Jews of Ethiopian origin now number more than 100,000, there were some Ethiopian Jews who were left behind. They are the 15,700 Ethiopian Jews from a group known as the Falash Mura, the remnants of Ethiopian Jews who had been forcibly converted over the course of previous generations. After intense pressure, the Israeli government made a decision on February 16, 2003, that anyone who can trace maternal descent to Jews of Ethiopia would be allowed to return to Israel under the Law of Return. The Israeli government then launched Operation Promise to raise funds to bring this last community of Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

With expectations raised, these 15,700 Ethiopian Falash Mura have moved their residence into three temporary compounds in the Gondar region of Ethiopia, awaiting their repatriation to Zion. However, the Israeli government will only allow 300 Falash Mura per month to arrive in Israel. No one in the Israeli government will give an explanation as to why such a low quota exists.

Meanwhile, although the Israeli government is supposed to be providing “Immigration Eligibility Forms” for the Falash Mura, no Israeli government representative has visited the three compounds where the Falash Mura have been lingering since the decision to bring them to Israel. No Israeli government official will give an explanation for this policy.

However, the Israeli government is making every effort to absorb at least 5,000 Muslim Sudanese refugees from Darfur, who are leaving transit camps where they had been living in temporary accommodations in Egypt. The Israeli collective farms known as kibbutzim are absorbing the Darfur refugees and giving them work in exchange for room and board. How an unpaid Muslim population will integrate into Israeli society is a question that no one in Israel is prepared to deal with.

Now the Jewish State prepares to welcomes African non-Jews, who are strange to Israel, while it turns its back on a African Jews who perceives Israel as their s home. To learn more about the plight of remaining Ethiopian Jewry, check out the web site of The Struggle to Save Ethiopian Jewry at

11 Tammuz 5767, 27 June 07


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.