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 Sharon—Falash Mura 
Harrison Weblog

2005 blog


Israel to accept all Falash Mura
from Ethiopia by end of 2007
,  Jan. 31, 2005

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced today (Jan. 31) that all remaining Falash Mura—Ethiopian Jews forced to convert  to Christianity—will be allowed to immigrate to Israel by the end of 2007. 

There are an estimated 20,000 fitting the description of Falash Mura waiting to immigrate, and Sharon instructed Interior Minister Ophir Pines to "present a comprehensive and detailed plan for the Falash Mura aliya with three months," according to the Foreign Ministry.  

Pines was instructed to cooperate with Tzipi Livni, minister of Immigrant Absorption; Benjamin Netanyahu, the finance minister, Silvan Shalom, the foreign minister, and Salai Meridor, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, in preparing the plan.

The Prime Minister said the plan should include an agreement with such organizations as the Rescue Committee for Ethiopian Jewry and other groups to "stop their work there and transfer the camps (in Ethiopia) to the sole responsibility of the Jewish Agency."

Sharon made the announcement after a meeting with Livni, Netanyahu, Pines, Meridor and Natan Sharansky, minister without portfolio, and such other officials as Ilan Cohen, director general of the Prime Minister's office, and Yisrael Maimon, Cabinet Secretary.

A release from the Foreign Ministry quoted Sharon as saying "We must make every effort to increase immigration and therefore the Treasury will have to set aside additional resources to achieve this aim."  According to the Foreign Ministry, Sharon also emphasized that immigration would help to solve the problems of the Falash Mura in Ethiopia.
    —Donald H. Harrison