The sole Ethiopia-born member of Israel’s parliament has said he was left “disappointed” by Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the Horn of Africa country, after the Israeli prime minister failed to solidify plans to reunite 9,000 Ethiopian Jews with their families in Israel.
Avraham Neguise, a member of the Israeli Knesset from Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, also said he did not understand why the prime minister had not visited Jewish institutions or met with members of Ethiopia’s Jewish community, who are believed to have lived in the country for 3,000 years and are known as Beta Israel.
Neguise had waited in the Israeli delegation’s hotel along with two local Jewish leaders on Thursday morning in the hope of meeting Netanyahu, but the Israeli leader had already departed for talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and President Mulatu Teshome, The Times of Israel reported.
The aliyah—emigration or return to Israel—of Ethiopian Jews was formally begun in 1991 with Israel’s Operation Solomon, which brought thousands of Jews to Israel in a matter of days as Ethiopia’s government was overthrown by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which has been in power ever since. Some 135,000 Ethiopian Jews now live in Israel, and Netanyahu’s government approved the immigration of 9,000 more in November 2015, who have been
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