In the wake of the protests by the Ethiopian community across Israel in recent days, the chief rabbis of Israel, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef and Rabbi David Lau, met on Thursday with the chief rabbi of the Ethiopian community, as well as its Kessim (priests) and leaders.
"The chief rabbis and community leaders agreed to end the protests during the meeting," the Chief Rabbinate said in a statement.
The chief rabbis said that the discrimination against the community should not be ignored and called upon the Israel Police to act with restraint towards the members of the community to prevent violence and allow community members to protest against the tremendous pain of Solomon Tekah's death. The chief rabbis also noted that the Chief Rabbinate is continuously working to resolve all the issues facing the Ethiopian community through dialogue and mutual understanding.
The chief rabbis assured the members of the Ethiopian community that they would appeal to the law enforcement authorities to exercise restraint towards the community and to act with tolerance towards the protestors who have participated in the protests until now. At the same time, the leaders of the Ethiopian community have promised to calm the situation and if there must be protests, they should be carried out in an organized and legal manner.
"We call on the Ethiopian community to hold the protest peacefully and call upon the police to act with restraint towards the members of the community who are pained by the discrimination against them," Rabbi Yosef said at the end of the meeting. "The chief rabbis and the Chief Rabbinate are doing everything possible to assist in solving the problems and discrimination against the Ethiopian community."
"I understand the harsh feelings of the community in the wake of their heightened feelings of discrimination following the tragic death of Solomon Tekah," Rabbi Lau said. "Unfortunately, there are young people who express their pain through violence against civilians and security forces. This is unacceptable. We are brothers and the proper way to solve these problems is through dialogue and mutual respect."
The meeting was attended by the chief rabbi of the Ethiopian community, Rabbi Reuven Wabash, the main Kess of the community, Barouk Tagnia, and a long list of representatives of community rabbis and Kessim from all over the country.