Monday, April 14, 2008

The strange coalition to bring non-Jews to Israel

The full article is in Haaretz

Israel is losing its sovereignty

The government decision to stop handling the immigration of the Falashmura starting in early June is a worthy move that comes much too late. As illustrated by a series of articles currently being published in Haaretz, a strange coalition of "liberal" American Jewish organizations, rabbis from the messianic branch of religious Zionism and Shas leaders have, for too many years, succeeded in imposing terror on the Israeli establishment and brought to Israel about 26,000 Ethiopian citizens who do not match the Law of Return's criteria for new immigrants.

The Falashmura are not Jews. For many generations, after their ancestors converted, they lived as Christians in Ethiopia. Now they want to exploit their Jewish roots in order to leave one of the poorest countries in the world and to live as welfare recipients in Israel. It is impossible to assess the social and economic price the country has been paying for years for this "aliyah," and because every additional "oleh" will naturally demand that his family be brought, this is a time bomb that only becomes more powerful over the years. Bringing them to Israel has no connection to Judaism or Zionism.


  1. Oct. 18, 2006 18:53 | Updated Oct. 18, 2006 19:16
    Ethiopians fight Christian proselytizers
    By Mathew Wagner

    Spiritual leaders of the nation’s poor, culture-shocked and embattled Ethiopian community opened another front of divisiveness Wednesday, calling to excommunicate members of their community who engage in Christian missionary activity.

    The Jewish Ethiopian community plans to compose a blacklist of known missionaries who will be ostracized.

    "We know who they are," said ItzhakZagai, Chief Rabbi of Rehovot’s Ethiopian community. "The worst punishment imaginable for an Ethiopian is excommunication, because we are all so interdependent."

    Ethiopians who appear on the list will be unable to marry inside the community.

    Christian Ethiopian proselytizing among Jewish Ethiopians is not a new phenomenon, said KesAvihuAzariya, Chairman of the Council of Kohanim, an organization of traditional Ethiopian spiritual leaders. But missionary activity has spread, especially since the immigration of the Falashmura, Ethiopian immigrants with Christian roots.

    "Today, missionaries are active all over the country from Jerusalem to Netanya, to Nazareth Ilit, to Haifa to Kiryat Malachi," said Azariya.

    Rehovot has become one of the largest centers for missionary activity with a center located in the heart of the city’s predominantly Ethiopian Kiryat Moshe neighborhood.

    In a letter to Rehovot’s Mayor ShukiForer, Zagai warned of violent Jewish Ethiopian reactions to the missionaries if their activities are not stopped.

    "People here are threatening to resort to extreme measures, such as blowing up the missionary headquarters with gas tanks," said Zagai.

    KesSamai Elias, head of the Ethiopian community in RishonLezion, said that a lack of leadership made the Ethiopian community particularly ripe for missionary activities.

    Ethiopian religious leadership is split between two camps. One supports full integration into normative Jewish practive, which is headed by Rabbi YosefHadana, who was appointed by the Chief Rabbinate to serve as Chief Ethiopian Rabbi.

    The second camp insists on maintaining distinctive Ethiopian traditions and spiritual customs, which is led by an elderly group of spiritual leaders known as Kesim. However, these leaders are not recognized as religious authorities by the Chief Rabbinate.

    Missionaries mix Ethiopian superstitions and rituals with their messages about Jesus, said Elias.

    "Ethiopians have a simple understanding of Judaism; therefore they are easily persuaded to incorporate Jesus. One man interviewed Wednesday on the Amhari radio station, defined himself as a Jew who believes in Jesus. He saw no contradiction.

    "They also give their prospective converts money and presents as a way of coercing them.

    Ianao Freda-Sanabetu, a freelance Ethiopian journalist who first wrote about the missionary problem in Rehovot, said that the Falashmura immigrants are ruining the Ethiopian community.

    "Any politician who dares oppose bringing them here is accused of racism against blacks," said Freda-Sanabetu who works for Ha’aretz,, Channel 1 and MakorRishon.

    "Many come with Christian beliefs and missionary aspirations."

    None of the missionaries could be reached. However, Ethiopian leaders suspect they receive financial support from European and American missionaries active in Israel.

  2. "People here are threatening to resort to extreme measures, such as blowing up the missionary headquarters with gas tanks," said Zagai.

    I highlight this paragraph in hope that others might consider the situation in Darfur within this context; that is, Ethiopian Christian missionaries stealing the souls (and in thousands of cases, the bodies) of African children.

    "Historical record shows that the Christian missionaries often advocated the European invasion and conquest of Africa on the grounds that it would facilitate their humanitarian work. What is of particular significance is that Christian missionaries viewed Africans at best as ignorant and degraded heathens and worst as less than human beings, who could be saved only through European colonial imperialism and its various agents."

    Recently, Jewish community leaders in the NY/NJ area organized participation in protests in against the US Gov't's lack of participation in defending Ethiopian Christian missionaries from violence directed towards them by Africans who wish to protect their children.

    I think that it is fair to wonder about the influences that would induce Jewish community leaders to join with Christian organizations in these protests.


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