A former Israeli Supreme Court justice said the state must bring the remaining Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
Meir Shagmar, a member of a public committee working on behalf of the Falash Mura – or Ethiopians with Jewish ancestry – on Thursday announced a campaign to protest the government’s plan to halt their immigration.
“It is Israel’s duty to bring the remaining Ethiopian Jews to Israel,” Shagmar said. “It is not an economic question, but rather a Jewish and Zionist one.”
Israel’s aliyah program for the Ethiopians is scheduled to end this summer following the immigration of 800 of the estimated 8,000 remaining in the capital of Addis Ababa.
The committee will urge Jewish communities around the world to pressure the Israeli government, and appeal to the Supreme Court to press their demand to bring the remaining Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
“I defend Israel around the world against harsh claims of discrimination and double standard, and I am ashamed that I cannot defend it in this case from similar recriminations,” said committee member Alan Dershowitz, a well-known American attorney.
On Wednesday, the Knesset introduced a bill supported by 45 members that would require the government to allow the immigration of all Ethiopian Jews with family already in Israel.