JERUSALEM (Nov. 15)
The government has adopted a new policy regarding the fate of Ethiopian Jewry and is now promoting a massive and open campaign to recruit world public opinion in support of Ethiopian Jews who want to leave their country, Minister-Without-Portfolio Moshe Nissim announced in the Knesset yesterday. He spoke for the government in reply to eight agenda motions on the subject.
A similar declaration made two weeks ago by the World Zionist Organization. So for both bodies preferred quiet action but under pressure from Falasha Jews in Israel, they are now resorting to “louder” measures.
Nissim noted that the first resolution the present government adopted 21/2 years ago was to work to ward the aliya of all Ethiopian Jews. The government has not given up on its efforts, he said, although it worked quietly. Premier Menachem Begin appealed to public figures throughout the world, including heads of state. A number of Falashas arrived in Israel but their number is small, Nissim said.
The open campaign policy was supported by all the factions that raised the motions. They shared the view that the 26,000 Falasha Jews faced the danger of physical annihilation. MKs Yosef Rom of Likud and Yigal Allon of the Labor Alignment met yesterday with a group of Black leaders now visiting Israel. The American delegation promised its members would cooperate with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in public campaigns on behalf of Falasha Jewry. The Black leaders were scheduled to meet with Begin later today.