Last Updated: Friday, 29 August 2014, 11:25 GMT

Ethiopia: Information on the situation of Ethiopian Jews (falashas), in particular how they treated by the authorities and their fellow citizens

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 September 1997
Citation / Document Symbol ETH27554.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ethiopia: Information on the situation of Ethiopian Jews (falashas), in particular how they treated by the authorities and their fellow citizens, 1 September 1997, ETH27554.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac007c.html [accessed 29 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

A 3 June 1997 Jerusalem Post article indicates that approximately 3,500 Falasha Mura are in an Addis Ababa camp waiting to emigrate to Israel. A 10 May 1996 report in The Jewish Week claims that Ethiopian government policies are making it difficult for falashas to leave Ethiopia because they allow only 120 departures a month, while a 30 January 1996 issue of the same magazine reported that the Ethiopian government had protested against discrimination faced by Ethiopian Jews in Israel. This source claims that blood donated by falashas was reportedly destroyed "out of fear of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) infection" (ibid.).

According to this source, the Ethiopian government authorities claim that "there are no Jews in Ethiopia anymore" (ibid.). Country Reports 1996 corroborates this statement by reporting that "all Ethiopian Jews who wanted to emigrate to Israel are believed to have departed" (1997, 95). Apparently there are two different categories of falashas in Ethiopia: falashas and Bela Israel, who have reportedly departed, and Feles Mora [sic] or

Ethiopians who claim forced conversation to Christianity from Judaism during the past 100 years, but who have just been accepted as Jews by Israeli Rabbinate [and who case] remains unresolved. Israel is handling the Feles Mura application on a case-by-case basis, and the two governments have agreed to grant about 110 visas per month for family re-unification (ibid.). 

For additional information on the situation of falashas, please consult the attached documents.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1996. 1997. United States Department of State. Washington, DC,: United States Government Printing Office.

 The Jerusalem Post [Jerusalem]. 3 June 1997. Liat Collins. "Knesset Panel Calls for More Ethiopian Immigration." (NEXIS)

The Jewish Week. 10 May 1996. Byline. Lawrence Cohler. "'A Test of Honour': Israeli Absorption Minister, in N.W., Defends His Government's Treatment of Falash Mura." (The Ethnic NewsWatch/NEXIS)

_____. 30 n.d. "Addis Ababa Protests Against Tretment of Ethiopian Jews in Israel." (The Ethnic NewsWatch/NEXIS)

Attachments

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 1996. 1997. United States Department of State. Washington, DC,: United States Government Printing Office.

 The Jerusalem Post [Jerusalem]. 3 June 1997. Liat Collins. "Knesset Panel Calls for More Ethiopian Immigration." (NEXIS)

The Jewish Week. 10 May 1996. Byline. Lawrence Cohler. " 'A Test of Honour': Israeli Absorption Minister, in N.W., Defends His Government's Treatment of Falash Mura." (The Ethnic NewsWatch/NEXIS)

_____. 29 March 1996. "Exodus Delayed: This Passover, 3,800 Ethiopians Who Identify as Jews Remain Languishing in Addis Ababa. Should Israel Do More to Save Them?" (The Ethnic Newswatch/NEXIS)

_____. 30 n.d. "Addis Ababa Protests Against Tretment of Ethiopian Jews in Israel." (The Ethnic NewsWatch/NEXIS)

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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