Sunday, 2 November 2008

Jews and Blacks: the Ethiopians ..., by Bernice Dubois

Source: Judeo-Black Fraternity of France

"The press of current events caused me to postpone recounting a rare happening that I watched on Guysen cable TV, the Israeli French-language channel broadcasting from Jerusalem. Hundreds of Israelis of Ethiopian origin were demonstrating in front of the apartment of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. They were calling for the admission into Israel of those of their families still in Ethiopia.

Indeed, various Israeli governments had long ago begun to organize the famous Operation Moses, that helped Ethiopian Jews to return to the land of Israel. At great cost, and with the help of the United States, Israel had obtained permission from Colonel Mengistu, the Red Negus, to repatriate these Ethiopian Jews to Israel. But a serious question was raised. Were they Jews? If so, they must be circumcised, eat kosher, respect the repose and the solemnity of the Sabbath, etc… Some of you may have seen that very beautiful film: "Go, Live and Become".

If this demonstration was taking place, it was because the government had decreed the end of this immigration, considering that there were no more Jews in Ethiopia, whereas these people claimed that members of their families had remained behind... A painful dilemma! If the Israeli government decided to stop this immigration, it is because numerous refugees, fleeing the massacres in the Sudan and, particularly in the Darfur region, decided to seek refuge in Israel, sometimes passing through Egypt where they braved the dangers of the Sinai crossing to reach Israel.

I myself saw some, in the luxury hotels of Eilat on the Gulf of Eilat, working as waiters in these hotels and telling clients, in a rusty Hebrew that they were not Jews but wanted to become Jews, because the Zionist state would bring them peace and security. In the evening, strolling in the souk that remains open until the early hours of the morning, one can see their children walking by the shops or working in some of them…

All these details of daily life show that the Zionist ideology is not what some decry with poorly concealed hatred…

That Africans, persecuted in their own countries, cross a broad desert at the risk of their lives and threatened by Egyptian border guards who mistreat them, in order to seek refuge in Israel and remain there, is a notable fact that should lead many to rethink their prejudices.

If I am allowed a philosophical-religious parallel, this is the Messianic vision of the Prophet Isaiah (VIIIth century B.C.E.) that links up with the wish expressed by the German philosopher Kant (1804). He spoke of a peace pact uniting all humanity from one end of the world to the other. Knowing how quickly some can shoot arrows sharpened by their ignorance and their prejudices, I ask to be read attentively and even twice. As Michel Jobert once said, "Read me attentively; you will understand me better"."

Operation Solomon - from Ethiopia to Israel, 1991

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

And Moses said unto Pharaoh "Let my people go".

Nina said...

Bernice, you are fabulous! Nina