Ethiopians of Jewish heritage want Israel to rescue them

About 11,000 Ethiopians claim Jewish ancestry and want Israel to extract them from the war-torn region.

As violent clashes escalate between the Ethiopian Army and the FANO militia in the Amhara province in the Gondar region of Ethiopia, Israel’s Foreign Ministry is working to extract 160 Israelis and 54 individuals who are eligible to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.

However, there is a deep-seated belief within the Ethiopian community that everyone of Jewish descent should be included in Israel’s rescue efforts.

Ethiopian migrants in Israel are planning a demonstration in Jerusalem on Sunday in front of the Prime Minister’s Office, demanding the immediate aliyah of all those who are eligible, in light of the war.

“Gondar, a city with a population of approximately 9000 individuals from the Zera Yisrael (blood descendants of Jews who aren’t halachically Jewish), has seen its airport shut down for a week due to the conflict,” a Foreign Ministry official said.

“An Israeli government decision to bring in 3000 immigrants to Israel unearthed 4200 [additional] eligible candidates, with plans to allocate more resources for an increased number.

 “The demand is to [bring to Israel] all those who are waiting from the seed of Israel [people of Jewish heritage], which is close to 11,000 when Addis Ababa is also included.”

The ongoing conflict has led to immense fear among the community members, with some people afraid to leave their homes because of the fighting.

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11,000 trapped Jewish descendants in Ethiopia await rescue (Jerusalem Post)

Photo: TMembers of the Gondar Jewish community  (Rabbi Menachem Waldman)