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Complaint Lodged Against Israel for Neglecting Ethiopian Immigrants

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A leader of the Ethiopian Jewish community has complained that Ethiopian immigrants are getting short shrift from the Israeli authorities compared to the attention given immigrants from the Soviet Union.

Avraham Yadgai, who heads an organization of Ethiopian Jews, was quoted by Ma’ariv as charging that the government is not doing enough to bring to Israel the thousands of Jews remaining in Ethiopia.

He said that since Israel and Ethiopia reestablished diplomatic relations last year, Israel has not, in his opinion, made sufficient efforts to establish direct flights between the two countries in order to bring in the remaining Ethiopian Jews as quickly as possible.

But Ethiopian recruits are getting special attention from the Israel Defense Force, according to a report in Yediot Achronot on Wednesday.

The IDF has instructed Gadna, the paramilitary youth movement, to give pre-induction help to young Ethiopians on how to adjust to the military environment before they start basic training.

Brig. Gen. Yossi Lipman, deputy chief of the Manpower Branch at General Headquarters, was quoted as saying he knows “of no other community which has been so well and quickly absorbed into the IDF as the Ethiopian community.”

Gadna was also called on to solve the problem of 30 IDF regulars who preferred to live in Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station rather than the housing offered them by the Absorption Ministry.

After a meeting last week, nine soldiers agreed to accept the housing.

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