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October 29, 2012 9:30 am

Ethiopian Aliyah Enters Final Stages

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A Jewish Ethiopian child holds an Israeli flag. Photo: Ethiopian Diaspora Forum.

Approximately 240 new immigrants were set to arrive at Israel’s David Ben-Gurion airport on Monday as part of a final effort to bring the remainder of Ethiopia’s Jewish community to Israel.

Dubbed “Operation Dove’s Wings,” Monday’s arrival is the first in a series of monthly flights carrying Ethiopia’s Falash Mura—some of the last remaining Jews in the country—that is expected to last until October 2013.

The immigrants will be greeted by a host of dignitaries, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky.

The immigrants are expected to be temporarily housed at the Jewish Agency’s Ibim Absorption Center in the Negev, which can hold up to 600 people at a time.

The Falash Mura Jews descend from Ethiopian Jews who were forcibly converted to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Their status as Jews under Israel’s Law of Return was a matter of controversy until a 2003 Israeli government ruling that accepted their eligibility.

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  • Lawrence Kulak

    This is indeed heartrending. Israel is still demonstrating how it is the only refuge for Jews. How tragic it was and still is, if hordes of non-Jewish Russians were also absorbed in the past couple of decades. This is no doubt what is responsible for Isreal’s rising crime rate. There is no such thing as patrineal descent. If your mother was not Jewish you are 100 per cent non-jewish. If no proof can be produced of maternal Jewish ancestry, the person should be stripped of his/her Israeli citizenship and deported. It should be exclusively up to Israel to determine how many non-Jewish residents it can afford to absorb.