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No Entry Without Visible Means of Support

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The Interior Ministry has instructed immigration officials at Lydda Airport and Haifa port to deny admission to persons arriving in Israel without visible means of support. It was learned that the order stemmed from the small but continuing flow of American Blacks who claim to be Jews and who are experiencing severe difficulties supporting themselves. About 300 Black Jews who have come to the country in the past two years are located at Dimona in the Negev where they have caused problems and embarrassment. An American Black family that arrived at Lydda Airport on a TWA plane over the week-end with a one-way ticket and $7 cash was returned to the US aboard the same plane. The family could not state to the satisfaction of immigration officials how they intended to live on $7. Their assertion that their comrades at Dimona would help them was not accepted.

Friction has developed at Dimona between the Black Jews, local authorities and inhabitants of the region. According to the authorities, the Blacks refuse to observe regulations, refuse to take jobs and try to construct houses in unauthorized areas. They also allegedly buy goods at the local supermarket but don’t pay their bills. One member of the group was arrested recently on suspicion of burglary and will soon face trial. According to the authorities, work was arranged for male members of the group at the chemical plant in Arad but they quickly abandoned the jobs claiming the work was too hard. They have not looked for other jobs. Some of them formed a pop music group which travels around the country. Recently they approached the Bedouin Sheikh of the Houslel Tribe for permission to build huts on the tribal land because “the Jews don’t want us.” The Dimona Blacks arrived in Israel in 1969.

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