ICEJ Sponsors Aliyah Flight in Urgent Ethiopian Airlift
Some 432 Ethiopian Jews arrived in Israel late this week in the first phase of “Operation Rock of Israel” (Tzur Israel in Hebrew), a special airlift being carried out by the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency for Israel. Drought conditions, a locust plague, the coronavirus pandemic, and now a civil war in Ethiopia have given new urgency to bringing home the last remnant of this ancient Jewish community. The airlift operation is being supported by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, which sponsored the flight arriving today with 116 new immigrants on board.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials were on hand Thursday morning to greet the first flight of 316 Ethiopian newcomers, who were accompanied by Aliyah Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata, an Ethiopian immigrant to Israel herself at age three some four decades ago. A second flight landed at Ben Gurion Airport on Friday morning with an additional 116 Ethiopian immigrants, all part of an effort to bring a total of 2,000 Ethiopian olim by the end of January 2021.
“We welcome the Israeli government’s decision to bring them speedily home to Israel. It is truly a privilege for the ICEJ to support this historic and humanitarian effort to reunite Ethiopian families and fulfill the dreams of many generations to return to the Jewish homeland,” said ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler.