Monday, February 1, 2010


Australia's national broadcaster, SBS, recently screened "La Vis et Deviens" ("Live and "Become") a touching and sensitive movie about a young boy taken to Israel in 1984 during Operation Moses, the Mossad-inspired plan to relocate the Falasha, Ethiopia's Black Jews, to Israel. A Christian, the boy took the name Solomon, or Schlomo, as part of an assumed Jewish identity in order to flee the grinding poverty of life in Ethiopia. The movie tracks his life into young adulthood as he encounters love, kindness and also racist rejection in his country of adoption.

Operation Moses and the later Operation Solomon, in 1991, divided public opinion in Israel. Many Israelis would not accept the Falasha's claim that they were Jews, descended, according to legend, from the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon or that they were the tribe of Dan, one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. (Indeed, DNA evidence finds no convincing links of the Falasha to Middle Eastern Jews, but confirms that they link to African Ethiopians.)

Most of the Falasha, estimated at around 120,000, are now in Israel. They live alongside the hundreds of thousands of Russians who migrated in recent times, many of whom have similarly tenuous claims to being Jews. They may be joined shortly by a sponsored wave of Indians, whose claim to being Jewish is currently being asserted.

Should this be a problem, the migration to Israel of such diverse and contentious minority groups, for compassionate reasons? Should they not be allowed to make
aliya, whereby any Jew, anywhere in the world, under the Law of Return (sic), may settle in Israel? All very noble stuff, one might think, until one reflects on the condition of the Palestinians, who currently comprise the largest refugee population in the world. Forced to flee from their homeland in the pogroms of 1948 and 1967, they are denied any right of return, let alone any compensation. Those who remain in the remnants of Palestine live under a brutal Israeli military occupation (and here I include Gaza).

What the film-makers failed to reveal is that Israel's "Law of Return", together with its ongoing program of ethnic cleansing of the native population, is designed to do one thing: to alter the demographic status of Palestine in favour of an overwhelming "Jewish" presence.


Anonymous said...

Good work Bob, amazing what we here in Oz don't know. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,
I watched that movie the other day and had the same thought about Israel accepting "jews" from elsewhere to bolster their numbers to outweigh those of the Palestinians. A perfect example of how religion can be used not for faith's sake but for the service of the government.

lizardrinking said...

Very true. Very sad that a Palestinian after having left his or her territory for seven years, which many need to do, of course, to pursue study and a better life and so forth, are no longer allowed to return to their place of birth, forever. It is shocking and heartbreaking and obviously leaves them totally stateless. Friends of mine are in this position, and really, my heart bleeds for them and I am angered for them.