| Total Immigration|
About a month after the advertising of the Ministry of Absorption report in 1973, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the Sephardi chief rabbi, decreed that the community of "Beta Israel" are a descendant tribe of Israel, who had traveled as far as Africa. He also said that giving them a proper Jewish education and the right to immigrate to Israel, in his definition, was a Mitzvah of a saving their souls. On the other side, Shlomo Goren, the Ashkenazi chief rabbi, said that the Jewish Ethiopians are not the descendants of the Tribe of Dan and he said that there was an apprehension that bastards existed amongst them and also an apprehension to them being assimilated between the non-Jewish through the years. Ovadia Yosef's Halakha ruling ended with the Law of Return being accepted upon the community, notwithstanding the Ministry of Absorption report and notwithstanding the position of the Ashkenazi chief rabbinate. In order to bring the Beta Israel community to Israel, an inter office staff was founded, which included representatives from the Israeli Justice Department, Israeli Ministry of Interior, Israeli Ministry of Absorption and the Jewish Agency for Israel. This action was mainly promoted after the election of Menachem Begin as prime minister in 1977.
By the mid-1970s, a severe mass hunger broke over Ethiopia, which got the Ethiopian government asking for help from the Western world, including Israel, and in this form the government eventually allowed the Jewish Ethiopians to immigrate to Israel.
In the absence of full diplomatic relations with Ethiopia, The Israeli Mossad contacted officials in Sudan, which is adjacent to Ethiopia. Thousands of Jews from Ethiopia traveled by foot to the border with Sudan, and waited there in temporary camps until they were flown to Israel. Between the years 1977 and 1984, these immigrants were lead from those camps to Israel by means of vessels of the Israeli Sea Corps and airplanes. Until operation Moses, about 8,000 arrived in Israel in a dangerous journey in which about 4,000 Jews, at least, perished from plagues, hunger and murderous attacks of robbers.
The long walks of families and little children took them whole months at times. As a result of the difficulties of the way and the bad conditions, hundreds and possibly even thousands of Jewish Ethiopians died on the way to the camps on the border with Sudan. One of the main activists amongst the Ethiopians was Frada Aklom, whom many perceive as an important character from the Beta Israel ethnicity during the modern times.
The operation ended prematurly, after a leakage to the press in Israel about the immigration of the Jewish Ethiopians through Sudan to Israel. After the media exposure to the operation which was kept until then secretly, the political situation of that area changed. Sudan ruler, which beforehand let the Jews into his country on their way to Israel, was dismissed, and the relations between Israel and Sudan rose aground.
After that, more Jews were brought over: 1,200 in the Operation Sheba and 800 more on Operation Joshua that took place in 1985, with the help of George H. W. Bush, who was vice president of the United States at that time.
After Operation Moses ceased by the end of 1985, the chief rabbinate demanded from all the immigrants to pass "severity conversion" (גיור לחומרה) before they would be considered Jews.
The ceremony, which included a submersion and bloodletting of the brit, was meant for the cases in which there existed a big doubt about an immigrant belonging to Judaism. Therefore, the demand evoked a big resentment amongst the Jews of Beta Israel, who kept their Judaism in spite of persecutions and threats for hundreds of years. In the demands of the rabbinate, there was also a form of insult to the trustworthiness of the Ethiopian religious supervision over the people within the community who converted to Christianity. After a demonstration in front of "Hiechal Shlomo" and meetings with the chief rabbi, Avraham Shapira, the rabbinate decided to be satisfied with only a submersion be made and give up the bloodletting, which was customarily in the "severity conversions" in the cases in which there exists a little doubt about the origin of the immigrant.
Due to this agreement, "Operation Solomon" took place, during which about 14,400 Jews were brought to Israel within 34 hours on May 24, 1991, in about 30 airplanes of the Israeli Air Force and the El Al company.
A report done by Bank of Israel in the year 2006 demonstrates worrying information concerning the absorption of the Ethiopian ethnicity in Israel :
The report done by Bank of Israel also shows a lot of mistakes made in the way the governmental investment on the absorption of the ethnicity. And this is in spite of the cost of the governmental accumulative absorption, which is estimated at above 400,000 shekels for each of the immigrants who came to Israel during the Solomon operation. In addition to the governmental financial investments, money was also invested from donations, and money taken from the welfare support system of the local authorities, the existence of Affirmative action to the ethnicity in the Israeli army and in the Israeli universities. The report recommends taking measures to scattering the people of the ethnicity throughout the country and mainly in the more based villages and neighborhoods rather than those they were sent to. In addition, it is also recommended to enlarge the resources which the schools which a lot of the are sent to. Lastly, the report recommends expanding the arrangement of professional training to the ethnicity and to consider an affirmative action when combining them in the public service.
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