Israel: High Court rejects petition, allowing thousands of Ethiopians to immigrate to Israel

Of note:

The High Court of Justice has rejected an appeal that prevented the government from bringing over Ethiopians eligible for Israeli citizenship and thousands of Ethiopian refugees will arrive shortly, Immigration and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata said Tuesday.

In November, the government approved a plan to let some 9,000 Ethiopians with first-degree relatives in Israel immigrate under the Law of Return. However, this effort was blocked by the right-wing Israeli Immigration Policy Center, which appealed to the High Court of Justice on the grounds that the Ethiopians in question were not themselves Jewish or the direct descendants of Jews.

While the court considered the matter, the government’s plan was not able to proceed.

On Tuesday, the court removed its injunction and rejected the Israeli Immigration Policy Center’s petition.

“These immigrants waited for no reason and were left separated from their families, their parents, their siblings, their children and more. The war in Ethiopia and the coronavirus pandemic made their situation worse and the time has come to bring them home to Israel,” Tamano-Shata said in a statement.

“Soon landing alongside the immigrants from Ukraine will be immigrants from Ethiopia,” she said.

She added: “All Israelis are brothers. As I promised, I will be a minister for everyone. I will fight to bring over Jews from Ukraine alongside immigration from Ethiopia and from anywhere in the Diaspora from which someone wants to immigrate to Israel.”

The decision and the remarks came a day after Tamano-Shata accused her ministerial colleagues of hypocrisy in fighting far harder to bring Ukrainian refugees eligible for citizenship who were fleeing a brutal war to Israel than they did to bring Ethiopians facing similar circumstances.

Source: High Court rejects petition, allowing thousands of Ethiopians to immigrate to Israel

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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