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Remaining Jews in Ethiopia Said to Have Little Chance of Leaving for Israel

David Korn, a former ranking U.S. diplomatic official in Ethiopia, believes the estimated 8-10,000 Jews remaining in that country have little prospects of leaving for Israel. “The days of mass Jewish emigration (from Ethiopia) are over,” Korn told the annual plenary meeting of the International Council of B’nai B’rith (ICBB) here.

He suggested that Jewish organizations “now focus on helping those (Jews) who remain in Ethiopia” and are in dire need of food, clothing and medicine. About 10,000 Ethiopian Jews arrived in Israel between November, 1984 and January, 1985 in a secret airlift called “Operation Moses” which flew them from Sudan to Israel via Europe. The airlift was abruptly suspended by the Sudanese government after the secret was leaked.

B’nai B’rith International also took action on another issue during its three-day meeting. A resolution adopted Wednesday called on the Polish government to honor its commitment under a 1972 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) treaty to retain the unique Jewish identification with Auschwitz, the most notorious of Nazi death camps, where millions of Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

SEEK HALT TO CONVENT CONSTRUCTION

The Warsaw government was asked specifically to halt construction of a Carmelite convent on the site of the death camp. The Carmelites are a Catholic order of nuns.

In making its request, the ICBB cited documents showing that Poland inspired the United Nations treaty establishing Auschwitz as a memorial site. It charged that the Polish government is now violating its obligation by permitting the Carmelites to take over buildings at Auschwitz.

“We ask the Polish government to ensure that the essential nature of the Auschwitz memorial site remain unchanged as part of the heritage of mankind … and be protected and conserved for future generations,” the resolution said.

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