Imposed Delays


The South Wing to Zion advertisement (Dec. 16) about Ethiopian Jews being able to celebrate Chanukah with their families in Israel highlights a scandal of many years — keeping members of the Falash Mura community (modern-day Marranos) in deplorable and life-threatening conditions in Ethiopia, with a series of excuses as to why they cannot be brought to Israel.

The Immigrant Absorption Ministry has said the reduced pace of immigration is consistent with the budget available. Are Western immigrants told they cannot come because of budget shortages? Were immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East told they could not come because of budget shortages? Were the immigrants from the former Soviet Union told to wait up to 10 years because they could not be housed?

The social and economic costs of these Israeli-imposed delays will be with us for years. They are unnecessary but clear results of short-sighted, bigoted policy making. We all are paying the price, not only the long-suffering immigrants themselves.

Jaffa, Israel

Note: The writer has worked with the Ethiopian Jewish community in Ethiopia and Israel.