Daily Israel Report
19:06
Reported

News Brief

  8/28/2013, Elul 22, 5773

Protest Against End of Ethiopian Aliyah Program


While some are celebrating the last of the Jewish Ethiopian community to move to Israel under an official government program, others are protesting. Hundreds attended a demonstration on Wednesday in front of the Prime Minister's official residence in Jerusalem decrying the end of Operation Wings of a Dove. They said despite official findings there are in fact 1,600 more families desperate to leave Ethiopia and make aliyah to Israel.

Dr. Avraham Negussie of the South Wing to Zion organization said  the Jewish Agency shouldn't be cut off. Individuals can make aliyah, as can all Jewish people, but the school and immigration program in the Ethiopian city of Gondar has already been dismantled. Others argue that those still in Gondar are not technically Jewish. Such individuals may be descendants of those who felt pressure to convert to Christianity. However those at the protest held photos of family members back ion Ethiopia.

Dr. Negussie was born in a Jewish community in Gondar, Ethiopian and came to Israel in 1985. He has stated in the past that the Israeli rabbinical authorities "look at them under a magnifying glass and they all pass and are dedicated to living a full Jewish life. They go to synagogue and all the children are learning in religious educational institutions."

Over the years, the Israeli government opened its doors to Jewish Ethiopian immigration specifically in mass airlifts such as Operation Moses in 1984 during the famine, Operation Solomon in 1991, and other missions.