Likud MKs David Amsalem and Avraham Neguise have worked hard to push the cabinet to approve the aliyah of 1,300 members of the Falash Mura community that remains in Ethiopia. The cabinet recently voted to approve bringing 500 additional Falash Mura but Amsalem and Neguise refused to accept this. They began boycotting votes, making it difficult for the coalition to pass bills. The two faced sanctions but remained adamant until the cabinet changed the number to 1,300 Falash Mura expected to arrive in 2016 and received a commitment the matter will be discussed during the 2017-2018 budgetary talks.
A number of things have been learned since. For one thing. Walla News reports it received a tape recording that documents the MKs’ plan. They hope to get many members of the Ethiopian community to join Likud because of their efforts on behalf of the Falash Mura and this will put them in a position to demand becoming Interior Minister (Amsellem) and Absorption Minister (Neguise). So it appears they motives are far from pristine and not necessarily the good of the Ethiopian community.
In fact, according to veteran members of the Ethiopian community, those who walked to Israel via Sudan decades ago and their offspring insist the new Falash Mora aliyah that is planned and aliyah of recent years are a scam. They insist the Falash Mura that were serious Jews and compelled to convert have long ago been reunited and these are people who are not only Christians, but missionaries. The reportedly maintain an affiliated with the missionary organization “The Church Ministry Among the Jews”, Walla News adds.
Israel Radio journalist Tsega Mekalu, who describes himself as traditional and not religious, is outraged and wants to prevent the aliyah of additional Falash Mura explaining “they are destroying our community from within”. Many members of the community who are dati leumi or self-proclaimed traditional, want to maintain the Jewish integrity o the community and remain adamantly opposed to the aliyah of additional Falash Mura.
Veteran Ethiopians living in Israel for decades and their families explain:
· If these Falash Mura are legitimate as they claim, why weren’t they and their families with us to walk through Sudan and Addis?
· It is all about money. They are funded by the New Israel Fund, who is happy to bring more missionaries to Israel.
· PM Netanyahu and Likud simply don’t care. They too are pleased.
· How dare the Likud decide who to bring. Why are they not consulting with our Chief Rabbi Adani? Why don’t they consult with the Chief Rabbis of Israel? Why don’t they consult without Kassem religious leader? Because they don’t care and they are happy to bring more missionaries to Israel.
· The New Israel Fund is involved and the goal, to destroy Yiddishkheit. For years we maintained our Jewishness with mesirus nefesh only to be destroyed in the State of Israel.
· It stinks! It’s all about money. Our children see they live here, speak Hebrew and serve in the army and then marry them. They are goyim and we want no part of them!! Why are they being paid to come on aliyah. The minute they convert they revert back to being active Christians. Speak to any Jewish Agency officials in absorption centers. They can tell you the churches in these centers are active. These people do not want o be Jewish but they want to make us Christians.
According to the Walla News report and other sources gathered by YWN-ISRAEL, there is mounting opposition to the aliyah of additional Falash Mura among veteran Ethiopians, those who emigrated from Ethiopia in the late 1970 and early 1980s.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)
1. The Israelis have always had the problem of dealing with Jews who converted to Christianity. If Israel was a Jewish state (meaning, acting in accordance with halacha), they could require descendants of Jewish who converted to become Shomer Mitsvos – and I seriously doubt anyone objects to a Shomer Mitsvos immigrant even if once was a nominal Christian. However Israel is a secular state, so they can only ask that the ex-Christian become as religious as the typical Israeli, which isn’t much.
2. If Ethiopians of Jewish descent but who no longer observe Torah are excluded, it would be racist to admit western Jews who likewise have given up on Yiddishkeit. While Ethiopians are black and poor, American “Jews” are white and rich. The zionists have no desire of a rule that excludes persons of Jewish descent who do not keep mitsvos. Indeed, most Israelis feel that admitting more non-religious Jews is a good thing as it further the goal of making Medinat Yisrael a country that is “free” of Torah and Mitsvos.
If they converted to Christianity they are Christians. What difference does their origin make? J.C. was also Jewish.
My friend is a teacher in an Ethiopian religious nursery school, run by dati Jews. After dovening, the kids make a sign of a cross in the air. She found out that they also go to church on Sunday with their parents. Have we become a nation of idiots?
What do you mean what difference does it make?
If a Jew converts to Christianity he’s still a halachic Jew as far as religion is concerned and still an ethnic Jew as far as secular nationalism is concerned.
The Falash Mura, on the other hand, appear to have never been Jewish by any definition. They do not represent all Ethiopian Jews.
As for agutyar’s ‘story’ about Religious Ethiopian Jews making crosses and going to church, I don’t believe that for a second and I don’t understand why it was allowed through.
Rav Avigdor Miller said many year ago, already, that the Ethiopians are 100% not Jewish. His words are available to hear directly from him on his Torah Tapes, as well as republished transcripts in the seforim from him recently published.
If memory serves, harav Amar, with the concurrence of harav Ovadia Yosef, ruled that the Falashmura are Jewish and that their Judaism is not to be questioned. Which would bring the YWN headline into serious question.
If there are indeed some among the Falashmura who are actively practicing Christianity and who are proselytizing, the famous decision of the Israeli Supreme Court in the case of Brother/Father Daniel would seem to be grounds to deny them Israeli citizenship (despite their halachic status as Jews).
akuperma – anyone who converted to Chritianity 100s of years ago, as the Ethiopians themselves claim they were Jewish but converted centuries ago to Christianity, would have been intermarrying for hundreds of years with gentiles. And that is assuming their claim of descending from Jews was accurate in the first place, something that there’s no real evidence of.
The so called Felash Mura as stated above, have been approved as Jewish not only by Rav Ovadiah Yosef and HaRav Shlomo Amar, who actually traveled to Ethiopia, but also by Rab Mordechai Eliyahu. Similarly, the RCA has written several letters in support of their aliyah. In contrast tow what was written in the article above, According to Isradel’s Bureau of Central Statistics,75% of the children born in Ethiopia (the so called FM) attend religious schools (6% haredi). Their cause is supported by the Chief Rabbi of the Ethiopian community under the Rabbanut, Rav Yosef Hadane. In Ethiopia they have lead dati lives for years (see the recent book, 350 pages of phtos and documents, “Ha’mamtinim Letzion” by HaRav Menachem Waldman. Rabbeinu Gershom enacted a Takanah imposing nidui on those who oppress by words repentant Jews. It seems to me, that the article above and some of the comments above, explain why he thought it was necessary.