Ethiopian Protesters Unhappy with Gov't Plan

Cabinet decision to assist Ethiopian immigrants lacks substance, say protesters, citing police brutality.

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Gil Ronen,

Ethiopian Jews' protest tent
Ethiopian Jews' protest tent
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Ethiopian immigrant protesters who have been camped out in Jerusalem for 93 days are unhappy with the government decision to implement programs to assist Ethiopian Jews in housing and employment. The decision lacks substance, according to Almito Parda, one of the leaders of the encampment.

Parda likened the decision to "an aspirin tablet" that did nit provide a thorough solution for the Ethiopian community's deep distress. "The decision is intended to silence the cry for true civil equality for members of the Ethiopian community, in different fields such as education, employment, housing, religion and the criminal police brutality against Ethiopian immigrants," she said.

Referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's statement earlier Sunday, Parda asked rhetorically: "If we are indeed 'flesh of the Jewish people's flesh,' why does the Rabbinate still refuse to recognize us as full Jews? Why are the religious officials [Keisim – ed.] not recognized by the Chief Rabbinate as possessing the authority to marry couples or – G-d forbid – proclaim their divorce? Plans are endless but implementation is minimal," she determined.

The High Court has decided that the Ethiopian Jews' encampment must be dismantled by the end of the month. Parda said that while the protest tent may fold, the protest will continue.