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Zionist Racism Against Ethiopian Jews in Israel

By Danna Harman Associated Press Writer Tuesday, March 17, 1998; 2:42 p.m. EST top of page

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Ethiopian immigrants in flowing white robes climbed off a bus to catch a first glimpse of their new home in Israel -- a trailer park on a windswept hill outside Jerusalem.

Activists of the 60,000-strong Ethiopian community complain of systematic discrimination by established Israelis and say the government is not moving fast enough to move immigrants from transit camps to real homes.

...Critics said while Israel is great on ideas -- two dramatic airlifts in 1985 and 1991 saved thousands of Ethiopian Jews from starvation and civil war -- it is not doing well on helping them get settled.

``It is as if the government feels they have finished their job by just bringing us here, but clearly the suffering is not over,'' said Adisso Massala, the sole member of Parliament from the Ethiopian community.

Ethiopian activists say other immigrant groups, especially newcomers from the former Soviet Union, get better housing, education and work opportunities.

The anger of the Ethiopian community exploded in riots two years ago when it was revealed that Israeli blood banks were secretly discarding their donations, fearing the blood might be tainted with AIDS.

The government says it has granted Ethiopians unprecedented aid. More than half the Ethiopian families in Israel have bought homes with government grants of up to $120,000 for families, far more aid than available to other immigrants.

But Ethiopian youth also have the lowest high school graduation rate of any group in Israel -- a guarantee of a future as low-paid unskilled laborers.

The government wavered for years over whether to allow thousands of Falashmura to come to Israel to join their relatives.

Some Israelis fear that more and more people in the developing world will look at the example of the Ethiopians and try to immigrate to the now relatively prosperous Jewish state by claiming Jewish roots.

Despite these concerns, the government decided to allow the immigration, and in recent weeks the pace of arrivals has quickened.

``But we still want more,'' he said. ``We do not want to create a new Ethiopia here. We came to be like everyone else.'' top of page

One in Five Israeli Women Is Battered By A Relative Or A Husband 
Al Sennnara on Feb. 24, 1998, Violence Begets Violence in Israel Households, top of page

Nazareth The latest information from Local Authorities related the phenomenon of violence against women [in the Israeli society] reveals that one in five women in the country are exposed to violence by a husband or a family member. This information is different from the previous figures which stated that only 150,000 women are battered or exposed to beating in the country [Israel.]

Shmuel Avoav from the Education Committee of the [Israeli] Local Authorities who revealed this information said that thousands of women and girls in the country who are physically abused by husbands or relatives do not press complaints because of fear from husbands /relatives or because of care for the welfare of their children/ family, or for other reasons.

Avoav invoked battered women and woman victims of domestic violence to submit complaints against their abusers because the complaint will be a deterrence in many cases...... top of page

Son says Israel owes Hecht an apology top of page Tuesday March 24 3:47 PM EST

WASHINGTON, March 24 (UPI) _ The son of a U.S. rabbi accused of calling for the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin says his father will not travel to Israel, although a ban on his entry has been lifted.

Joshua Hecht tells United Press International today that his father, 77-year-old Abraham B. Hecht, never called for Rabin's murder or said he regretted not having the privilege of killing Rabin himself.

Hecht said, ``This has not been written or published anywhere.''

Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by a right-wing orthodox Jew. Abraham Hecht has been quoted as citing Jewish scripture to justify the killing.

Joshua Hecht said, ``If anything, the state of Israel owes a tremendous apology to Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht for distorting his words, for quoting him out of context, for doctoring his TV interviews, for broadcasting comments that he made way before the tragic assassination.. .as if he had said them the day after the assassination.''

Hecht said his father had sent a letter to Rabin clarifying his remarks a month before Rabin's death.

Hecht said his father is ``very pleased'' the ban against him has been lifted but has no plans to travel to Israel.

He criticized the Israeli government for trying to discredit ``an outspoken voice for the Jewish conscience.'' top of page

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