Photo Credit: Tribes of the World via Flickr
The Falash Mura at the Israeli embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in photo taken Monday, July 7, 2008.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the cabinet ministers, ahead of a scheduled debate on the matter at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, demanding that the Falash Mura not be allowed to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.

The Falash Mura are members of the Beta Israel community in Ethiopia and Eritrea who converted to Christianity over the past two centuries. According to author Gerrit Jan Abbink, the name Falash Mura stems from Faras Muqra (horse of the raven) in which the word “horse” refers to the converts and the word “raven” refers to the German missionary Martin Flad who used to wear black clothes.

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Today’s Falash Mura remain faithful to Christianity and do not adhere to Jewish law. Approximately 8,200 Falash Mura are living in Ethiopia today. This year, under pressure from the Israeli Ethiopian community, the Israeli government approved a plan to allow 1,000 Falash Mura to immigrate to Israel.

MK Smotrich wrote: “The government is examining a proposal to approve and finance the Aliyah of the parents and sibling of those who have immigrated, because they belong to the Falash Mura community, despite the fact that these relatives are not Jewish in any way.”

“I call for an immediate stop to any further immigration increases and for deleting the proposed government resolution from the agenda.”

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