Israeli Cabinet Approves Ethiopian Airlift

ICEJ partnering in urgent Aliyah operation

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Posted on: 
2 Dec 2021
Israeli Cabinet Approves Ethiopian Airlift

This week, the Israeli cabinet approved plans to bring home 3,000 more Ethiopian Jews in an emergency airlift out of war-torn Ethiopia. The Jewish Agency for Israel has requested the assistance of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem with this massive operation expected in the coming weeks, and we are reaching out to Christians worldwide for your help with this urgent, historic wave of Aliyah.

The decision to evacuate the 3,000 Jewish immigrants came amid reports of an escalation in the civil war in Ethiopia, with the president recently declaring a nationwide state of emergency and even going personally to the front lines to lead the battle against the rebel Tigray militia. This has led to growing calls from within the local Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel for an “Operation Solomon II.”

The most vocal advocate for such an airlift has been Pnina Tamano-Shata, the current Minister of Aliyah and Integration who arrived in Israel from Ethiopia herself at age three in an emergency airlift in the 1980s. There were reports she was even ready to quit the Bennett-Lapid government if her evacuation pleas were turned down.

Under the agreement reached by Tamano-Shata and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, the government will bring 3,000 of the Ethiopian Jews still living in transit camps in Addis Ababa and Gondar, provided they arrived in the camps more than ten years ago and also have first-degree relatives already living in Israel.

The new cabinet decision will help implement an earlier government resolution from 2015 to bring home to Israel the last 9,000 eligible ‘Falash Mura’ – Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors were coerced to convert to Christianity several generations back. Over 4,000 have already been brought to Israel – more than half of them on Aliyah flights sponsored by the ICEJ. The current plans will bring another 3,000 “in the coming weeks,” leaving 2,000 or so to bring at a later stage.

The Jewish remnant still in Ethiopia have been living in run-down transit camps waiting for up to two decades now to finally be reunited with their families who have already reached Israel. This gives us an opportunity to help lift them out of poverty and the growing dangers of the raging conflict, as well as to bring loved ones back together after many painful years of separation.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has pledged to be an active partner in this emergency airlift by offering to sponsor at least 200 Ethiopian Jews on the first flights coming out of Addis Ababa. With your help, we can bring home even more Ethiopian Jews, so they can reach safety in Israel and finally rejoin their families in the Promised Land.

Please give your best gift today to help with this urgent and historic Aliyah operation.