Saturday, November 14, 2009
The Plight of the Ethiopian Jews in Israel
Beta Yisrael - The House of Israel
In East Africa in the country of Ethiopia lived a people called Beta Yisrael which means House of Israel. These brothers and sisters claim descent from the biblical Israelite tribe of Dan. Dan was one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Beta Yisrael are black skinned as an Israelite would be. They were given the name of Falashas which means Stranger and Foreigner, Beta Yisrael is not indigenous to the country of Ethiopia , this is why they are called Stranger by the inhabitants of that land. We know from Scripture that Israelites have been in Ethiopia from at least the first century, or earlier (Acts 8). Beta Yisrael's practice of Hebrewism was close to that of the biblical Israelites then it was to Judaism.
Some believe the Ethiopian Hebrews are not true Israelites, in order to know if they are we have to use the identifying mark. We have to compare their living condition to what is written in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26. In 1985 a civil war was waging in Ethiopia, which brought death and starvation. The Israeli Government decided to bring these Hebrews back to the land of Israel in what they called Operation Moses. Beta Yisrael living condition was deplorable, the Israeli government noted that if Beta Yisrael was not taken from Ethiopia they wouldn't survive as a people. In order for the Israeli's to allow Beta Yisrael in the land of Israel they had to convert to Judaism. This was forced upon them, they had no choice it was either convert or stay in Ethiopia and die. They chose to convert to Judaism and are now called Jews. As I mention in order for us to know if they are really Israelites we have to see if they are suffering the curses. Since coming to Israel, they have been brought down very low, they are being treated in the same manner as we are in the Americas. Beta Yisrael is called Israel's "black underclass"
Here are some excerpts that detail their plight in the land of Israel:
August 11, 1995
"Report calls Israel's Ethiopian Jews `black underclass'"
Jewish Telegraphic Agency
JERUSALEM -- Misguided Israeli educational policies are "steadily transforming Ethiopian immigrants into a black underclass," according to a new report by the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews.
Titled "Creating an Underclass: How Israel's Educational System is Failing Immigrant Youth," the just-published report accuses the government of providing substandard education to Ethiopian immigrants and of segregating them from other Israelis.
While acknowledging that many officials in the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Education and Absorption ministries have made "heroic efforts" to help Ethiopian olim (immigrants) succeed, the report charges the government with educational neglect.
The report, compiled four years after the Operation Solomon airlift brought 14,400 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, is subtitled "A Call to Action."
"While the problems posed by inadequate housing and job prospects are well-known," the report says, "the most critical obstacle to the absorption of the Ethiopian community is the education system."
"Noting that about half of Ethiopian adults are unemployed, the report says......"
The education system, the report concludes, "has only contributed to a vicious circle of poverty, unemployment and juvenile delinquency."
"Ethiopian Jews Imitate U.S. Blacks"
Las Vegas Sun, January 25, 1999 Associated Press
For centuries, Ethiopian Jews dreamed of reaching Israel. Much of the 65,000-member community here arrived in 1985 and 1991 through a series of dramatic airlifts. Thousands of others perished trekking through brutal conditions in the Sudan desert on the way to airlift departure points.
But for many Ethiopians, Israel has proven something less than a promised land. As a group, they remain at the bottommost rung of the country's economic and educational ladder, still struggling to find social, religious and cultural acceptance.
The Ethiopian saga in Israel has been fraught with hardships. On arrival, most became wards of an overworked immigration bureaucracy that housed them in isolated trailer parks or urban absorption centers where traditional farming skills proved useless in finding work.
While overt racial discrimination is relatively rare, many Ethiopians feel the sting of what they see as Israeli disdain for them as newcomers from a primitive country. The Ethiopians also have had to battle an Orthodox religious establishment that has questioned the authenticity of their Jewish roots, requiring them to undergo symbolic conversion to Judaism before marrying.
The burdens of immigrant life have fallen particularly hard on the young. Because many parents can't provide their children with school supplies or a quiet place to study, some teens attend state-run boarding schools attended by Israeli youngsters from troubled homes. In some neighborhood grade schools, there is de facto segregation that Ethiopians feel has meant a lower standard of education.
The Ethiopians' high school dropout rate exceeds 17 percent, or more than double the national average, the Education Ministry says.
Young Ethiopians have excelled in their mandatory military service, but once demobilized, most can get only low-paying jobs.
Unemployment among older Ethiopians is high, with more than half the families with teen-agers having no employed head of household.
"In Israel, distress signals from Ethiopians"
By Ben Lynfield | Special to The Christian Science Monitor
May 22, 2002 edition STRIVING FOR INCLUSION: Ethiopian Jews immigrated to Israel in the 1980s and 1990s. Many feel they don't fit into the society of their new homeland, a problem that both black and white Israelis are struggling to address.
The gap between black and white Israelis seems, with some exceptions, to be growing. For Ethiopians, it is visible in impoverished neighborhoods, soaring unemployment, and the highest high-school dropout rate of any Jewish group in Israel.
Twenty-six percent of Ethiopian youths have either dropped out or do not show up for classes most of the time, raising concerns that the community's current difficulties may become chronic. Drug use, including glue-sniffing, is on the rise, and criminal activity, hardly known among Ethiopians before they came to Israel, has been growing.
But not everyone is sympathetic. Israeli mayors unabashedly urge the government to keep Ethiopian immigrants away from their cities.
During a break in Ishete's talk, Masha Aroshes, Rishon LeZion municipality official, says that more Ethiopian families due to arrive here are not welcome.
"They are going to a neighborhood which the mayor has been trying very hard to improve," she says. "It is just starting to flower. Adding another 35 Ethiopian families is not right. It impacts on the education level. In order for the Ethiopians to be properly absorbed, they should not go there."
That kind of talk is adding to alienation among Ethiopians, according to Asher Elias, a staff member at the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews (IAEJ).
"Ethiopians have lots of motivation to become Israelis, but they are not accepted," he says. "In jobs, in education, people feel they are discriminated against because they are black. I'm not saying it is right or wrong, but it is what we are feeling, and that is enough."
A low point in the relationship between Ethiopian Jews and Israelis came in 1996, when it was revealed that Israeli hospitals had thrown out all blood donated by Ethiopians. "These were donations to help other Israelis," Mr. Elias says. "[Ethiopians] said to each other: 'What do they think? That we are not humans?'
"Habad, one of Israel's stronger orthodox religious groups, doesn't recognize Ethiopians as Jews or allow their children into its kindergartens.
Editor's Note: This is the most tragic news indeed. The Ethiopians possess a very ancient form of Judaism (or more accurately Yahvism, the worship and exaltation of YHVH). The "Judaism" of the Falashim predates the Judaism of the Edomite Ashkenazim by thousands of years. The earliest Jewish kingdom was founded in Ethiopia by Menelik in the tenth century BC. Menelik was the son of the Judean King Solomon and Queen of Sheba. The Queen of Sheba's domain encompassed Egypt and Ethiopia. The Judaized Khazars essentially played a King's Gambit in rescuing the Ethiopian Jews: they simply wanted to further their monopolization over mainstream Jewry. Anyone seeking to recover a Jewish heritage should not go amongst the tents of Edom to seek validation. The Holy Scriptures confirm who a Jew is (Rom 2:28-29). It is from the Scriptures where our validation should be sought. The Ethiopian Jews have also blindly given their lives to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as the Zionists maintain their illegal occupation of Palestine. It must also be clearly understood that Zionism is a racist, white supremacist ideology that is centered in atheism. This piece of information will enable the reader to ascertain the cause of the condition of the Falashim (Ethiopian Jews) in Israel.