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July 26, 2016 / 20 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ethiopia’

Netanyahu First Israeli PM in Decades to Visit African Countries

Monday, July 4th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leaving on an historic visit to Africa Monday, after decades in which no Israeli prime minister has visited the continent. The Prime Minister has set improving and strengthening relations with African countries as a goal; he will visit Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

On the occasion of Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit, the National Information Directorate has designed a special logo featuring the flags of the countries on his itinerary.

On the occasion of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit, the National Information Directorate has designed a special logo featuring the flags of the countries on his itinerary.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Africa will begin in Uganda where President Yoweei Museveni will welcome him in an official ceremony with a 19-gun salute (21-guns is for presidents). Afterwards, an official ceremony will be held at Entebbe to mark 40 years since the Entebbe raid.

Later the Prime Minister will meet with East African heads of state who are traveling to Uganda especially for a diplomatic meeting with him. Participating in the meeting will be Ugandan President Museveni, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, Zambian President Edgar Lungu and Tanzanian Foreign Minister Dr. Augustine Philip Mahiga. Prime Minister Netanyahu will also visit Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia where he will hold meetings with their heads of state and security and economic leaderships. He will make an historic speech before the Ethiopian Parliament.

Beyond its diplomatic aspects, Prime Minister Netanyahu also has major economic significance. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by approximately 80 businesspeople from 50 companies, all eager to establish commercial ties with African companies and countries. Last week the Netanyahu cabinet passed a $13 million plan to strengthen economic links and cooperation with African countries.

Economic seminars will be held in Kenya and Ethiopia with the participation of the traveling businesspeople and their local counterparts. The seminars are under the auspices of Kenyan President Kenyatta, Ethiopian Prime Minister Desalegn Boshe and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

JNi.Media

On This Day in 1991, IDF Makes a Miracle With ‘Operation Solomon’

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

On this day in 1991, Israeli Defense Forces accomplished a miracle and broke a world record for number of passengers transported in a plane, launching a covert mission to airlift thousands of people, thousands of miles away to bring them home to Israel.

It seemed impossible at the time, but Operation Solomon rescued 14,500 Ethiopian Jews on May 24 and May 25 and transported them 2,500 miles to a new life in Israel.

To date, the unprecedented airlift remains the largest aerial expedition in the history of the State of Israel and the largest transport of passengers in a single plane in the world.

In 1990, the Israeli government and the IDF became aware that the incumbent government of Ethiopia’s Mengistu Haile Mariam was coming closer to collapse or a coup. World Jewish organizations joined Israel in its concern for the Beta Israel, Ethiopian Jews whose mass emigration had to that point been impossible.

The Ethiopian government finally allowed all the Jews to leave the country at once in great part due to a letter from U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Up to that point, Mengistu was only willing to discuss their emigration in exchange for weapons.

U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz was sent as a special emissary by Pres. Bush to meet with the Ethiopian government to aid Israel in arranging the airlift. Assistant Secy of State for African Affairs Hank Cohen was also involved as he was an international mediator in Ethiopia’s civil war.

The operation itself was not publicized by media, thanks to a gag order under military censorship. The aircraft were all stripped of their seats in order to maximize their space.

Upon arrival 140 frail passengers received medical care while still on the tarmac; five pregnant women gave birth on the plane – they and their newborns were rushed to the hospital as soon as they arrived in Israel.

In 36 hours, 35 Israeli aircraft flew non-stop flights to transport 14,325 Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Among the aircraft were Israeli Air Force C-130s and El Al Boeing 7474s.

Hana Levi Julian

Ethiopian MK Meets Visiting African Women, Advocates Merging Israeli Tech with ‘Fertile African Soil’

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) on Monday met at the Knesset with a delegation of prominent women from several African countries, including women from academia and education, as well as members of parliament, members of political parties and one journalist.

The African delegation is visiting Israel as part of the UN Women initiative, established in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. UN Women – Africa, one of the largest branches of this initiative, works to “support regional gender-responsive measures to promote women’s leadership and participation in politics, government, business and society and to influence regional and national legal frameworks and policies to increase women’s leadership and political participation.”

MK Neguise noted that the 20th Knesset includes a record number of women members, and encouraged his guests “as leaders in your countries, to continue with your activity.”

Neguise, an Ethiopian Israeli, told the women that as MK he works to strengthen relations between Israel and Africa. To this end, he recently established the Lobby for Relations between Israel and African Countries, which he heads. Neguise also chairs the parliamentary friendship groups of Israel and Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Rwanda.

“I believe that the meeting between Israeli technology and the fertile African soil can effect change in Africa and strengthen the ties between Israelis and Africans,” Neguise told the delegation members, pointing out Israel’s advanced capabilities in the fields of irrigation, desalination, solar energy, medicine, education and tourism. “If we develop cooperation in these fields, both Israelis and Africans will benefit,” he promised.

Neguise, who serves as chairman of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, noted the importance of Jewish immigration to the strengthening of Israeli society, and said part of the committee’s duty is to advance equal opportunities for recent immigrants in education, employment and housing. He noted that part of the challenge stems from the fact that 90 percent of Ethiopians who immigrated to Israel came from rural areas, “so there are economic, cultural and professional gaps.” In order to narrow these gaps, he said, Israel provides after-school classes for Ethiopian students, vocational training for adults and housing assistance for immigrant families.

While in Israel, the African delegation members are taking part in a leadership course organized by Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, a division of the Foreign Ministry. The course is being held in cooperation with Singapore.

Click here for a list of the African delegation members.

JNi.Media

Bnei Akiva in Ethiopia Will Ease Transition to Israel for Remaining Jews [video]

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

The Israeli government decided in late 2015 to bring the remaining Jews in Ethiopia home to Israel. That project is estimated to take five years. In the interim, and cognizant of the difficult time that some olim, particularly Ethiopian Israelis, have had in making the transition to Israeli life, a new project was launched.

That project, the Ethiopian Aliyah Project 2016, has as its goal preparing the remaining 6,000 Jews in Ethiopia for Aliyah.

World Bnei Akiva, working with the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israeli government, have committed to sending two Bnei Akiva shlichim (outreach workers) to Ethiopia, at intervals of two months at a time, work with those Ethiopians preparing for Aliyah. These students will teach Hebrew, Torah and Zionist ideology to the Jews waiting in transit camps in Addis Ababa and Gondar.

A successful project will mean that the new olim will have a successful transition to and absorption within Israel. There are opportunities to provide financial support to this program.

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israel, Germany to Link on African Development Projects

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Israel and Germany signed a Declaration of Intent in Berlin on Tuesday to cooperate on joint development projects in Africa.

The two nations will develop water and agricultural projects in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Burundi and Burkina Faso.

It is hoped the program will expand to other African nations once the first six are underway, according to Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold.

It was Gold who signed the Declaration together with Thomas Silberhorn, Germany’s parliamentary state secretary for the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

This is not the first time the two countries have joined forces to cooperate on projects in Africa.

For that matter, Israeli assistance in Africa has long roots dating back to the days of the late Israeli stateswoman Golda Meir.

In addition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Uganda in 2005 before returning to the prime minister’s office in 2009. During the visit he dedicated a memorial plaque to his brother Yoni at the old terminal building of Entebbe International Airport.

As did Meir, Netanyahu also pointed out in a recent meeting with American Jewish leaders that building stronger ties with African nations can have advantages for Israel beyond the continent – particularly at the United Nations.

Hana Levi Julian

Last Falash Mura to Come to Israel

Monday, November 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Netanyahu cabinet on Sunday approved unanimously to fly to Israel the remaining Falash Mura who are still in transit camps in Ethiopia. Then those camps will be shut down and there will be no more organized aliyah from Ethiopia to Israel.

Falash Mura is the name given to Ethiopian and Eritrean Jews who converted to Christianity under pressure from the missionaries in the 19th and 20th centuries. The term refers both to Jews who did not adhere to Jewish law, and Jews who converted to Christianity, either voluntarily or by force.

Beta Israel (Hebrew: House of Israel or Community of Israel) are Jews who lived in North and North-Western Ethiopia, in more than 500 small villages. They renewed contacts with other Jewish communities in the later 20th century, and following halachic and constitutional considerations, Israel decided in 1977 that the Israeli Law of Return applied to them. The Israeli and American governments launched operations to transport the Ethiopian Jews to Israel from 1979 to the 1990s.

Today, Ethiopian Jewry is still not fully integrated into Israeli society. They remain on a lower economic and educational level than average Israelis, and marriages between Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian Jews are not common. According to a 2009 study, 90% of Ethiopian-Israelis are married to other Ethiopian-Israelis. As many as 57% of Israelis consider a daughter marrying an Ethiopian unacceptable and 39% consider a son marrying an Ethiopian unacceptable. A 2011 study showed that only 13% of high school students of Ethiopian origin felt “fully Israeli.” (Wikipedia)

In May 2015, Israeli Ethiopians demonstrated in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem against racism, after a video was released, showing an Israeli Ethiopian soldier being brutally beaten up by two Israeli police.

However, according to Ha’aretz, 90 percent of the younger generation of Ethiopians in Israel have high-school education, almost the same percentage as the Jewish population in general (93 percent). The rate of matriculation is “only” 53 percent, but that is almost four times the figure for the first generation (16 percent). And 20 percent of second-generation Ethiopian Israelis have higher education (a number becoming doctors), almost four times the rate of the first generation (5.7 percent). Employment among Ethiopians has jumped from 50 to 72 percent in 12 years, with women rising from 35% to 65%. And the percentage of Ethiopian Israelis working in janitorial services has fallen to only 5 percent.

Seven Ethiopian-Israeli have gone on to become Knesset MKs, and Ethiopian Jews have risen to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the IDF.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement: “Today we have taken an important decision, to bring to Israel within the next five years the last of the communities with links to Israel waiting in Addis Ababa and Gonder.” The PM noted that this is an important move for Ethiopian families in Israel who have been split up.

The newcomers would have to undergo a conversion, as well as be taught Jewish values and the history of the Zionist movement.

Chairman of the Committee for Immigration Absorption and Diaspora, MK Avraham Negusa (an Ethiopian-Israeli), who has been in the forefront of the fight to bring remaining Jews of Ethiopia for the past 25 years, congratulated Netanyahu and Interior Minister Silvan Shalom on today’s decision.

“This is a great day for the Jewish people,” Negusa said. “For thousands of years Ethiopian Jewry prayed to return to Israel and waited for nearly a decade torn from their families. Today their prayers were answered.”

JNi.Media

Jeb Bush Seeking Jewish Support

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Jeb Bush is preparing to reach out the senior Jewish leaders to endorse him for Republican party’s presidential nominee, the Jewish Insider reported.

The website it obtained an invitation that Bush’s staff sent to Jewish leaders to form a “National Jewish Leadership Team,” with individuals to attend a special briefing with Bush at his campaign headquarters in Miami Sept, 25, two days after Yom Kippur.

With at least 16 other contenders for the nomination, Bush is retrying to get a head start on bundling up Jewish support, some of which already is committed to Mike Huckabee.

The proposed Leadership Team, is scheduled to meet for a dinner at the Miami Beach home of two of is Jewish supporters on the day before, which is one day after the Yom Kippur holiday and fast.

The hosts are Glenda and Ronnie Krongold, who is leader in the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

Originally from West Virginia, he dealt in real estate in Florida and built a real estate company. One his partners in a project was “Jeb Bush and Associates,” according to the RJC website, which also noted that Krongold has been very active in Israeli Bonds.

The website states:

In 1985, at the request of a Jewish activist and publisher Phil Blazer, Ron called upon Jeb to intercede with his father, the Vice President, on behalf of approximately 1,000 Ethiopian Jews who were starving and dying in camps in Ethiopia. Thereafter through the efforts of the Vice President and a group of concerned Jews, the majority of the Ethiopians were rescued and flown to Israel by the United States government.

In 1990 Ron traveled to Russia, before the fall of Communism, along with then CEO of Bonds Meir Rosanne , Michael Siegal (who is now the chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America) and six other Israel Bonds leaders to help with the extraction and settlement of Jews from Russia to Israel.

 

 

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Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jeb-bush-seeking-jewish-support/2015/08/27/

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