JERUSALEM (Jul. 17)
A group of recently arrived immigrants from Ethiopia, unhappy with hotel living, staged a protest march Tuesday demanding to be returned to the mobile homes near the Negev town of Netivot where they were originally quartered.
It was the first sign of rebellion among the usually placid Ethiopian olim, but officials of the Jewish Agency for Israel said it was bound to happen sooner or later.
The 39 Ethiopians, who came to Israel in the Operation Solomon airlift of May 24-25, were transferred a month ago to the hotel at Kibbutz Beit Oren on Mount Carmel.
But the newcomers prefer living in mobile homes, which afford families more privacy and let them cook their own meals.
One of the most serious adjustment problems Ethiopian olim have experienced has been getting used to Israeli food.
On Tuesday afternoon, the protesters began marching down the winding road from Kibbutz Beit Oren to the coastal town of Atlit, about 10 miles away.
Jewish Agency officials who rushed to the scene convinced them to return to the kibbutz temporarily, pending transfer to more suitable living quarters.