LOD, Israel (AP) — Nearly 100 Ethiopian Jews have landed in Israel in the first wave of new immigration since the government said last year that it would let some of the 8,000 remaining community members join relatives in Israel.
Local Ethiopian community members on Monday welcomed the newcomers after years of delays. Israel recognizes the community's Jewish roots but does not consider them fully Jewish, so they require special approval to immigrate that has not always been forthcoming.
Alisa Bodner, spokeswoman for an Ethiopian-Jewish activist group, said she was "far from satisfied" by the slow trickle of Ethiopian immigration, long stalled despite government promises to bring all remaining members of the community to Israel.
The bulk of the Ethiopian Jewish community was airlifted to Israel in major operations in the 1980s and 1990s.