Israeli Ethiopian Leaders Seek Program to Educate About Aids

Israeli Ethiopian leaders have asked the government to implement an AIDS awareness campaign in their community.

The community has a relatively high incidence of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to Israeli officials.

Funding for the program — about $6 million is needed — has not been secured.

One year ago in Jerusalem, a violent protest of Ethiopian Jews erupted after the discovery that Israeli health officials were disposing of their blood donations for fear of HIV contamination.

A commission of inquiry was subsequently established to examine the matter.

Consensus was that health officials had bungled badly. But there was also a recognition that the Ethiopians were expressing pain and outrage over the broader insult of not yet being accepted or absorbed by mainstream Israeli society.