The Falash Mura are back — but why?


Anshel Pfeffer of Ha’aretz unpacks the story behind the resumption of Ethiopian immigration to Israel, calling those who are bringing them "freelance organizations and opportunists." He writes:

In typical Israeli fashion, a whole government policy been overturned without a cabinet meeting to discuss the various ramifications, nor has there been any inter-departmental discussion to plan all the contingencies…

The pressure groups pressed, the rabbis ruled and the minister gave the order. The word is out in Ethiopia, the disappointed multitudes who left the Gondar compound are returning, and more family members will be joining them. The Israelis are opening the gates again…

Of course no one has taken the trouble to consult with the impressive group of professionals, and Jewish Agency and Foreign Ministry veterans who worked in Ethiopia for years and have a clear position on the issue. They would have told them that there is no finite number of Falashmura who can claim a tenuous link to Jewish roots. The family structure and marriage norms of Ethiopian society are of a fluidity incomprehensible in the West and every new immigrant who is allowed in opens up the opportunity for former spouses and stepchildren who will demand family reunification.

Full column here.

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