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Court Orders Government to Explain Why It Won’t Let in 4,000 Falash Mora

June 21, 1993
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel’s High Court of Justice has ordered Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to explain within 45 days why he will not allow the immigration of some 4,000 Falash Mora from Ethiopia under the Law of Return.

Many Ethiopians in Israel have relatives among the Falash Mora, Ethiopians whose ancestors were Jews who converted to Christianity, and want Israel to allow these people to make aliyah.

The court was responding to a petition filed by 10 members of the Falash Mora community residing in Addis Ababa. They based their petition on a previous ruling by the High Court that the registration of a certain community as Jewish enables the registration of each of its members as Jews, according to the Law of Return.

The petitioning Falash Mora said that since their religious leaders, the kessim, confirmed their Jewishness, they qualify for aliyah under the Law of Return, just like any other Jew.

However, the government has decided that the Falash Mora may not be allowed to immigrate under the Law of Return, except in specific cases, but that individuals be permitted to enter Israel on the basis of family reunion.

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