Operation Brothers began after Israel's PM Menachem Begin heard about a long-lost Jewish tribe, Beta Israel
, which longed to return to their homeland.
Recently, I visited Gondar, Ethiopia, where many of the country's perhaps 7,000 remaining Jews (known as Beta Israel
Jews) are living, waiting to immigrate to Israel.
The protesters carried Israeli flags and signs saying: "Police are killing Beta Israel
" and "Police state." They chanted against trigger happy police and called for the incarceration of police who react with undue violence instead of defusing a situation.
The Beta Israel
, as Ethiopian Jews are known, believe themselves to be descendants of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, or else descendants of the lost tribe of Dan.
"Ethiopian Jews prefer to he called 'Beta Israel
' [House of Israel], but in Ethiopia they were called Falasha and the word is still used ...
The band is conceived as a microcosm of the entire Beta Israel
community (House of Israel, the self-referential term used by the Ethiopian Jews) that immigrated to Israel in several waves ca.
In short, the Beta Israel
have proved one of the more difficult groups to assimilate.
Seeman started research on the Beta Israel
community in 1989, conducted research in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the summers of 1992 and 1993 and in Israel between 1994 and 1996, and concentrated on Jerusalem and Haifa, including immigrant absorption centers, between 1998 and 2003.
The Falasha, or Beta Israel
, also known as Ethiopia's 'black Jews', live in the Simien mountains although the majority have resettled in Israel.
Speaking in the first person, Wuditu describes her life as a member of Beta Israel
, a Jewish Ethiopian community formed 1700 years ago.
A similar modernizing effort, documented in Shelemey's essay ("Echoes from beyond Europe: Music and the Beta Israel
Transformation"), led to the complete eradication of an ancient tradition.