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Herzog calls to bring waiting Ethiopian Jews to Israel ‘quickly’

President Isaac Herzog takes part in a ceremony to mark the Ethiopian festival of Sigd in Jerusalem on November 4, 2021. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog takes part in a ceremony to mark the Ethiopian festival of Sigd in Jerusalem on November 4, 2021. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

President Isaac Herzog calls to bring to Israel without delay the remaining Ethiopian Jews waiting to make aliyah.

“The longings of the past are in large part the foundation of this holy day, but it is important that we not neglect for a moment our longings for the future,” Herzog says at a ceremony in Jerusalem marking the Ethiopian Jewish holiday of Sigd. “Thousands are still waiting to make aliyah to Israel, and some of them are threatened and in a worrying situation. We must continue to act bring them over to Israel quickly.”

The president also says that Israel’s “national mission, for the best possible integration of Ethiopian Jews in their land, has not ended. This is not just a duty — it is a tremendous privilege, because we all see the immense contribution of immigrants from Ethiopia wherever we look.”

Bringing to Israel the thousands of Ethiopian Jews still waiting in Addis Ababa has long been mired in controversy and multiple delays. Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, herself a native of Ethiopia, has vowed to do so quickly.

Ethiopia declared a state of emergency earlier this week as the civil war that has killed thousands of people and displaced millions since November 2020 threatens to engulf the capital.

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