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Unrest in the Israeli Ethiopian Community

Unrest in the Israeli Ethiopian Community

Over the last week, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest discrimination and unequal treatment by law enforcement against the Ethiopian minority in Israel.

Responding to the recent protests, the leaders of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) released a statement expressing support for public leaders and activists working to lead peaceful demonstrations, and made a call to action for the full enfranchisement of Ethiopian Jews in all areas of Israeli society:

"Ethiopian Jewry holds a glorified chapter in the history of the Jewish people. It is only appropriate that this chapter continue to be written in Israel out of respect, equality and praise. The protest expressed by Israeli Ethiopians, many of whom were born in Israel, should ignite self-examination among the Israeli public and its leaders and lead to significant and on-going action, first and foremost by the authorities, but also by all Israeli citizens and residents in work places and academic settings, in social settings and in the media. We hope that the violent events will not lead to a distraction from the heart of the problem and the appropriate response which should be given to it."

The IMPJ, along with the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), has worked for years to empower Ethiopian Israelis and fight against racism and discrimination. The IMPJ's fund for social responsibility and humanitarian assistance, Keren B'Kavod, as well as leading Reform and Progressive Israeli congregations, provides direct service, educational, cultural and social support to the often-underserved Ethiopian Israeli community. IRAC's Legal Action Center for Olim (LACO) also works to provide crucial legal representation to Ethiopian immigrants working to fully participate in Israeli civil society.

For more information, visit the IMPJ website, the IRAC website  or the RAC's page on World Jewry.

Published: 5/06/2015

Categories: Social Justice