Ethiopian Jews hold up a mirror to Israeli society – not a pretty picture

Ethiopian Israelis march in an anti-police brutality demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Sunday, May 3, 2015. (photo credit: Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel staff)

In case you hadn’t heard, a huge rally of Ethiopian Israeli Jews took place in Tel Aviv on Sunday which quickly devolved into violence, leaving dozens of injured on both sides: the police and the demonstrators. The initial spark for the demonstration was a video, which rapidly went viral over the internet, of Israeli police brutally beating an Ethiopian IDF soldier. The Ethiopian community, generally the loveliest, quietest, gentlest people, finally had enough and went out to protest.

Here is the story.

What began as a peaceful protest turned into bedlam in the heart of Tel Aviv Sunday, as demonstrators gathered to protest police brutality and alleged institutional racism against Israel’s Ethiopian population.

A video released last week showed a policeman and a police volunteer assaulting an Ethiopian-Israeli soldier in Holon. That footage sparked a demonstration in Jerusalem Thursday, and again in Tel Aviv Sunday night.

At Sunday’s demonstration, protesters threw rocks and glass bottles at police, who responded with stun grenades and fired water cannons at protesters.

As of midnight Sunday, almost 50 people were injured. According to Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, 23 of them were police officers.

An Ethiopian Israeli man receives medical treatment after being injured at an anti-police brutality demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Sunday, May 3, 2015


By the end of the night, 26 protesters were arrested, he said.

Sunday’s protest began mildly. A few dozen Ethiopian-Israelis and sympathizers gathered at the intersection of Menachem Begin and Eliezer Kaplan streets. The group blocked traffic on Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway and other roadways, but the protest was non-violent.

Tenat, a nurse at Petach Tikva’s Schneider Children’s Hospital, sat down in the middle of the intersection. She had just worked a double shift at the hospital and was tired, but felt it was important to come to the demonstration. So she did what she could: block the intersection.

“This is my country, too,” she said. “Tomorrow it could be my brothers or my cousins [who are subject to police brutality].”

But as more people arrived at the normally busy intersection, the intensity grew. Police formed a human chain, locking arms to prevent protesters from crossing Menachem Begin eastward to Givat Hatachmoshet Street. Restless demonstrators took that as a challenge.

The two sides pushed up against each other for dominance. Protesters shouted at Israel Police, and then at the Border Police officers who arrived as reinforcements. A female protester broke the tension at 5:45 p.m. when she grabbed a policewoman’s hair and pulled. She was swarmed by other officers, handcuffed and escorted away.

After more aimless struggling with police on Givat Hatachmoshet, the protesters eventually made their way west down Kaplan toward Rabin Square, where the rally was planned to continue.

With no leadership or organizing committee, the protest lacked focus as the demonstrators arrived at the square in central Tel Aviv.

People chanted in Hebrew, “Violent police officers should be locked up!” and “For blacks and for whites, racism is the devil.”

Sometimes it was simpler. “Police state” and “no to racism,” some shouted.

But while many protesters came with good intentions, there were no speeches planned, no fixed goal. And so with nothing to do, protesters pushed their way onto the platform overlooking the square. Police quickly and forcefully pushed them back.

In response, protesters threw plastic water bottles at them. Eventually that unrest yielded small scuffles in the parking lot beneath the platform. The mounted police unit arrived on the scene shortly after 8:00 p.m., causing a stir amongst the demonstrators.

Police regrouped on the platform above the square, forming another human chain of officers in full riot gear. Protesters pushed and shoved, someone brought a hose from a nearby building and sprayed the police.

At a little after 9:00 p.m. the first stun grenades were thrown by police. That set off the first of many rounds of escalation, followed by full-blown conflict.

Over and over, police and protesters clashed on the east side of Rabin Square. The two sides would push and shove until someone — from either side — would push too hard. Police would respond by throwing stun grenades. Protesters would respond by throwing bottles and rocks.

According to Rosenfeld, “Police did not use force until… protesters threw stones at officers and there was no option but to make arrests.”

I think the police were badly organized and also insensitive. Stun grenades? At a civilian demonstration? What were they thinking? Why didn’t’ they bring in the water cannons first?

At 10:55 p.m. police brought water cannon trucks into the square, dousing protesters with a sudsy blue spray. Several protesters were knocked down by the water cannon. Medics from Magen David Adom, who treated demonstrators and police alike, had to themselves brave the water cannons to get to and treat injured protesters.

But there were glimmers of hope in the chaos. A middle-aged Ethiopian man, Gidon, gathered a group of younger people around him. “Violence,” he told the group, “we’ve gotten it. The hardest hits, we’ve experienced them.” That’s why now, he told the surrounding protesters, don’t pick up a rock. “Say no to that violence.”

Black and white Israelis struck up dialogue on the outskirts of the square. The Ethiopians tried to explain what they’ve been through, the white Israelis asked if this — the violence — was really the best way to solve the problem.

There were also low points. A volunteer medic — not a member of Magen David Adom — was helping a wounded protester, whose head and arm were bleeding. As the medic and others gathered to clean the man’s wounds and apply bandages, a stun grenade landed in the middle of the group. The volunteer medic fell to the ground.

What needs to be noted is that Israelis have always discriminated against the “newest” set of Olim. The early Ashkenazim looked down on the Moroccans who looked down on the Yemenites. We all looked down at the Russians until they overtook us. And then came the Ethiopians. The problem for this community was that they had to deal not only with the usual travails of immigration itself with which all immigrants have to cope, but also with a profound culture shock: moving out of a pre-industrialized agrarian society into a modern 20th and 21st century society.  And yes, of course there is racism, not insitutionalized maybe but there is no denying that it exists – yes, there are racists in Israel just as there are in every other country – and thus we find that the Ethiopians’ absorption problems are magnified tremendously.

The main question that we Israelis must ask ourselves is “are we really that racist or is this a distortion of the facts?”. Sadly, from various reports that I have read from ordinary Ethiopians, we are not such tzadikim.

Here is a Facebook post that describes just one man’s situation:

A couple of Saturdays ago we ate Shabbat dinner with another couple, as is customary in the community.
Full Disclosure: He is of Ethiopian descent, she is of Ashkenazi descent.

The conversation was about a lot of topics, but part of it was about his lack of success in finding a job in the profession for which which he studied and invested in for many years; years where he could not be with his family as he worked in shifts in guarding the community, including weekends holidays etc.

His name Yosef Shay. At first glance at his resume you can see he has a BA as a biotechnology engineer, and his name is completely Israeli, but when they reach the visual part he doesn’t get the job!

So yes, you can hide behind a “not suitable” and all kinds of other slogans.
Unfortunately I’m pretty sure if he was not Ethiopian he would have been accepted much more easily!

Share this and draw attention to decent employers and offer relevant employemnt so that the Ethiopian community’s strggle against discriminaton will be unneccessary.

Seth Franzman, a journalist whom I deeply respect and who always has something interesting to write, shocks us with his own personal story: “Are you really stunned that ethiopian anger has reached Tel Aviv?”:

“I was in the army four years ago, and when I was released, my wife and I went to rent an apartment — and we were told they don’t want Ethiopians,” said one young protestor to a newscast on Sunday night. He was standing in a crowd of mostly Ethiopian Jewish protesters in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, the site of many protests over the years.

Was this Tel Aviv? The high-tech metropolis where everything is relaxed and people sit on the beach for hours on end? How, some wondered, could such violence reach all the way into this bubble?

But the real question is: How could it not?

What happened on Sunday night was the culmination of a week of anger over a video that surfaced showing two policemen assaulting an Ethiopian IDF soldier named Damas Pakada in Holon. This followed a year of incidents that had Ethiopian Jews feeling they had become targets of police brutality. On March 1, 2014, Yosef Salamseh was approached by police in a park in Binyamina. According to reports, police accused him of breaking into a house, tasered him, beat and handcuffed him and then took him to a station where family members found him left unconscious in a parking lot. Never charged with a crime, he filed a complaint about the assault, but instead of it being addressed his family was harassed and he was found dead in July, allegedly a suicide.

Racism against Ethiopians pervades Israeli society in more subtle ways, too. My wife, who is Ethiopian, was asked last week if she wants a job cleaning, when she has an MA and works as a senior civil servant. Israeli historian Anita Shapira claimed in her recent book that Ethiopians had to “transition…to an industrialized achievement-oriented society.” Such hidden prejudices — the assumption that Ethiopians don’t understand “achievement” — lead to long-term marginalization.

During Thursday and Sunday’s mass protests, many other minorities, including Arabs, ultra-Orthodox, national-religious Jews and Mizrachi Jews expressed sympathy. “They did it to us Moroccans too,” said an elderly bearded man named Avraham on French Hill Thursday.

Ethiopians join a long list of groups seen as an “other” in Israeli society. These are the people who have for years presented their “integration” as a success story. The protesters time and again stressed that they are “the most Israeli.” But the press and politicians still call them “immigrants,” even though most are born in Israel.

The problem, of course, is that the protesters don’t want to be a permanent underclass, or remain in a situation where so many are being incarcerated. The community feels totally abandoned by a state to which they have given everything. When the state drafts a person from a poor Ethiopian community for three years and pays them $100 a month, and then that person cannot find a job, cannot rent an apartment, cannot afford a car or go to university, they want answers. Their immigrant parents’ generation accepted the poverty they found in Israel. But this generation has said enough.

A first step towards the Ethiopians was made by Binyamin Netanyahu who met with the soldier who had been beaten by the police and pledged to work to eliminate racism.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Damas Pakada, the Israeli Ethiopian soldier who was assaulted by police officers last week


One major problem that still exists works on the “road to hell is paved with good intentions” principle: Israel has so many programs to integrate Ethiopians, but they end up doing more harm than good, as this article describes in “Separate but not equal“.

Let us hope the new government – if and when it is formed, and if it it holds up long enough to pass any worthwhile legislation (a lot of ifs, I know) – has the sense and the sensitivity to deal honestly and efficiently with the Ethiopian community in order to help them advance and integrate successfully into Israeli society. Let us hope too that the authorities, social activists and NGOs will manage to educate Israeli society against racism of all kinds.

Our lives, our future and those of our children depend upon this.

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16 Responses to Ethiopian Jews hold up a mirror to Israeli society – not a pretty picture

  1. Chaim says:

    The police need to learn and practise crowd control instead of going straight into riot control.
    A typical inciting response came from the Mafkal: “we will bring the rioters to justice”. Let him educate his police how to control a crown and let him make an example of the two guys who beat up the soldier by gaoling them then throwing them out of the police force.

    All of the talk about the Ethiopians problem is simply paying “lip service” and will be soon be forgotten . Israeli’s racism between variuos groups has been going on for seventy years and will not be removed overnight if ever . But the authorities’ handling of it can be trained.

    • anneinpt says:

      Chaim, absolutely, I agree with you that the police are woefully inadequate when it comes to crowd control. We’ve seen it over and over with the right-wing anti-“disengagement” from Gush Katif demonstrations; when the police tried to evacuate Amona and Givat HaUlpana in Bet El; and I’m sure the leftists can give their own examples too.

      The police by their very actions stimulate more violence rather than defuse the situation.

      As for the real problems faced by the Ethiopians, I hope that they will eventually be faced and dealt with by Israel, and that this wonderful community will come to feel a normative part of Israeli society. Already they have made huge strides, and it is barely one generation since they arrived. They are right that there is discrimination, but it is not institutionalized by the state, and is officially illegal, so with the correct application of the law – plus lots of “intermarriage” between different communities, and with the passage of time (it is barely 20-30 years since they arrived) – this will resolve itself.

      We all have a lot of work to do though.

  2. ShimonZ says:

    I found it very hard to read this post, but I did read it, and I think you presented the story well. I could make a few corrections, but they really don’t matter. Here in Jerusalem, there was a Sfardic majority among the Jews before the first Zionists of the modern age arrived, and they looked down on the Ashkenazim. But yes, there is a measure of racism and tribalism in Jewish society, even though there are many, many Israelis who are not racist or separatist. It is truly sad, and who knows how long it’ll take till we’re able to overcome our faults. We also have a great problem with policemen because traditionally Jews do not like that job. And often it’s the people who are the least fit for the role that do get the job. But for me, the worst part of the recent demonstrations (we had one in Jerusalem the week before the one in Tel Aviv), is the violence of the Ethiopians. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know some Ethiopians since they first started immigrating, and they weren’t violent at all. They were very sweet and modest people. And it breaks my heart to see that this is what they learned from us. But what you say about immigration is true. And it has been hard for almost all immigrants. It is very hard to move out of one world and adjust to a different one. And it is hard for Israelis to accept all the changes and differences and actually be as large hearted as we would like to be. This blog post could easily be a book, if we examined all of the problem. And I thank you, Anne, for telling the story as well as you did.

    • anneinpt says:

      Shimon, thank you for your thoughtful comments, and even the corrections. Please feel free to add more – it’s important to get the history right.

      You hit the nail on the head regarding the quality of our policemen. Of course not all of them, but as a generality it’s true. It’s a problem that must be addressed by the top brass of the police – they have to improve conditions and attract better qualified people. And they MUST improve their training and tactics.

      I too was shocked at the violence at the demo, particularly since it came from such a quiet community, though which came first: the police or the demonstrators?

      Regarding the tribalism in Israeli society – which I prefer as a description of the social divisions here, because it’s not really about race – Israelis behaved horribly even to Holocaust survivors who arrived straight after the war, mocking them for going like sheep to the slaughter, calling them “soap”, having almost no empathy for what they had gone through. So it’s nothing to do with racism, but rather an arrogance of the local veterans and a wish to make themselves feel better by belittling the weaker people. It’s not a nice characteristic and the solution really is education, education, education.

      Thank you for liking this post. I was a bit ambivalent about writing it, and then when I had finished it I wasn’t sure it came out right. It’s a very difficult subject to deal with.

    • Aridog says:

      I must echo what ShimmonZ said:

      And I thank you, Anne, for telling the story as well as you did.

      Superbly if I might say so. History is hard, past & present, and it takes courage to present it honestly….a feature of your writing and character I have always admired.

      Being a “Yankee” I have a lot to say on this subject, but I will wait a bit. Maybe a long bit. My service in various parts of the world, in and out of uniform, have informed me I have more to learn than teach. This post enables the learning. In short, my enemies over the years have taught me a lot, perhaps more than I was able to impart myself. I will say more later if I believe it adds positively to what has already been said. For now, I am best served by “thinking.” Your words are the seeds.

      Thank you v-e-r-y much for this post & thread.

      • Aridog says:

        Make ShimonZ .. I really promise to learn to spell one of these days. 😦

      • anneinpt says:

        Thanks Aridog. I usually try and avoid writing about anything that puts Israel in a bad light – there’s all the MSM for that. But after hesitating for a day or 2 I felt I couldn’t just sweep it under the carpet.

        I just hope that Israeli society and the political echelons learn a lesson from this whole thing.

        I do think that time will play a part too. As I said, it’s not been very long that the Ethiopians came to Israel. I remember the day of the airlift well, it was in 1990 or thereabouts. Taking that into account, and the profound culture shock on both sides, they’ve made remarkable progress. Of course that’s not enough, but I hope now, with this demo and the publicity it’s brought, that things will progress even further.

        On the other hand if someone is a racist at heart, how do you go about changing their mind? All the legislation in the world won’t help an Ethiopian get a job if the employer says the Ashkenazi guy is better qualified, or if a landlord says he’s already rented his apartment. Go prove it.

        On the third hand, just like the “intermarriage” between Ashkenazim and Sephardim has been blurring the differences between the communities – their children are neither one nor the other, but just plain Israeli Jews – similar intermarriage between Ethiopians and Israelis, whether Ashkenazi or Sephardi – will bring a new generation of Israeli children. I know of several couples like these personally. (and their children are gorgeous!)

        • lewy14 says:

          What Ari said. Massive respect for posting this annie.

          Rather than comment on the nuances of societal confrontations with tribalism – which I’m not really competent to do, in any case – let me just state the obvious (obvious to me anyway).

          Israel doesn’t have the luxury of space or time to equivocate over this issue. It has to be handled well (enough) and it has to be handled (approximately) now.

      • Aridog says:

        Okay, I think I am ready to say something, as a “Yankee,” even if it is slightly off topic. What I admire about Israel is that it seems to confront its social issues head on, argue them vociferously, then compromise…while we in America grope for excuses…pick any one from “white privledge” to “black entitlement” to “protected classes” and so on. I do not get it. The old adage about two Jews = 3 Opinions doesn’t apply here…we have no 3rd opinions, we refuse to compromise, at least politically. We’re all too pleased to illuminate our riots and pillaging, with almost nary a word about what goes right, which is the preponderance of things here, but not in our news or opinion media, especially the new “social media” of tiny bits of information. We are tearing ourselves apart from the inside out. I carry a weapon on me daily here, now, when once upon a time in a combat zone, I could lay the weapons down. Somehow that seems bass awkward to me.

        I will never understand how anyone can just have knee jerk negative reactions to some one’s skin color, their “race,” their religion, or their ethnicity. Never. My first reaction is always one of curiosity and reaching out to learn something of whomever is in front of me. If I’m physically attacked I can and will react violently, ( I know how to kill, but I’d rather not) but I’d really prefer we both sit back and break the circle of hate or distrust…particularly when we don’t have substantive reasons, mostly emotional & irrational ones. I’ve lived in rather white-bread Christian modest communities, in Jewish communities, in Arab Muslim communities, in Buddhist communities, even Confucian communities, and of course, because – Detroit, in black communities.

        Half a world away there were secular people of an Asian ethnicity (many closeted Catholics if truth be told) who were trying to kill me, and me them…however, has anyone heard me call them less than human, less than me per se, … or have you heard me say I wished we could have understood each other better, and tried to do so in fact? The anecdote I’ve related about some kids and baseball in a combat zone is an example…a squad of GI’s stopped to play with those kids. If any of them survived the war I hope they remember us as the soldiers who did NOT try to kill them, or steal their rice, who took a break and joined them in their fun….then shared what we could acquire for their game with them. In my opinion, those kids were far wiser than the adults on both sides. They most certainly saved me from PTSD or worse….they were that bright spot in an ugly place that told me to be resolute and not judgmental. The fact I to this day have a 16×20 photograph of two little children behind barbed wire in our living room says it all…my reminder of just who pays for war and hate…the children.

        Today in America, in Baltimore particularly, where there is black mayor, black prosecutor, black police commissioner (chief), etc…we are told the “problem” is a bigoted police force. How does one’s police force go rogue, against black people, when those overseeing them are all black? Can you say “cop out” ? So our DOJ will “investigate” and eventually seek a court order of supervision…which they do NOT tell you will be by the court, not DOJ. Detroit just was released from such a court ordered oversight in August 2014. Ms. Lynch might think she has the authority but she does not…she will need to present a case to the court and then the court will take action, not the DOJ….the overseer reports to the federal court, not DOJ.

        The very idea of direct federal control of policing in the USA generally is a non-starter, if honestly represented, under the Constitution….never the less, the bureaucrats will try. They are doing so as we speak.

        Israel has a better solution.

        • anneinpt says:

          Thank you for your insights based on your personal history Aridog. Certainly in times of war and combat it is the civilians, and the children especially, who end up paying the price on all sides. We saw this just last summer in Israel and Gaza.

          It’s very sad how things have degenerated in places like Baltimore, and it’s both shocking and grimly amusing that the black authorities are accused of bigotry. I’m sure that’s not true though. From all the way over here it looks like a case of severe neglect of severe social problems due to incompetence, maybe corruption, but I would doubt it is bigotry. That accusation is pure laziness on the part of the media, always on auto-response.

          I hope that both Baltimore and Israel can put the mess back together again, sooner rather than later.

          • Aridog says:

            Baltimore is merely Detroit many years ago. We had the same political demographics for nearly 40 years and you are correct, it was incompetence AND corruption. A recent mayor is serving 28 years in federal prison for corruption….the more recent mayors have all been men of integrity and we are climbing out of the hole dug for us who made a political game of the mess, without seeking any solutions, for 30 odd years….just like Baltimore today. In Baltimore, and other locales, they narrow the bigotry accusation to the police now, never mind who has overseen them for decades. I, for one person, am glad when I see a police officer cruising down my block, and so are most of my neighbors.

            I have no doubt that Israel can, and will, remedy their social issues, of all peoples, you have the experience. You know where evil lies. I am far less confident about the USA today. We seem devoted to denial and finding blame rather than cures. You need look no further than our administration’s attitude toward Israel and the middle east to see how we’ve lost our grip on reality.

            Right now, as we speak, there is a whoop de do here over Pamela Geller’s private conference (e.g., you had to have an invitation, it was NOT public) in Texas. People are trying to assert that she was the cause of the death of two jihadi wannabes who tried to kill dozens but wound up dead thanks to an alert police officer. Those of us who do not object to Ms Geller’s opinions, or at least don’t care, and do not pretend fondness for the jihadi inclinations either, are ignored…someone must be blamed!! We just must blame someone!! How long before some one pins a yellow 6 pointed star on her blouse? Never mind she impacts my life or the daily lives of most of us not at all. It makes me sick to even think about it all.

            I’m confident Israel can put it together, but not so much Baltimore. What I said about being armed still applies…why do I feel the need to be so here, when I once could lay down my rifle in a combat zone?

  3. Reality says:

    I hundred per cent agree that there is racism, from the police, employers etc..
    But do you not remember the police violence towards peaceful Israelis during the disengagement? How Tel Avivians told homeless people who’d been kicked out of their homes and were sleeping on the streets ,that they should go away,they were”messing up”the sidewalks!! And all these elitist same Tel Avivians who went beserk when an MK brought Sudanim to use their pool as a way of showing the problems those in run down South Tel Aviv were dealing with? These elitist snobs know only how to talk the talk,but when it comes into their neighborhood they are more racist than anyone else.I really do hope the tensions will die down.The Ethiopian community deserve to live as any other Israeli here.They work,study,raise families and go to the army.They are a gentle nation..

    • anneinpt says:

      Yes, I mentioned the police violence against the Gush Katif residents in my comment to Chaim above.

      I’d forgotten the outcry when the MK brought the Sudanese illegals to the Tel Aviv pool. That was quite a stunt and it showed them up to be very non-racist at someone else’s expense, but not in their own back yard.

      Agreed that the Ethiopians deserve all the support that we can give them.

  4. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Anne, your instincts on this article are correct. No-one would believe that Israel is a perfect society, and that includes her avid supporters, such as most of those who post here. It is far better to draw attention to the failings and to admit them. It makes the shining examples of getting it right all the more believable.

    Whatever is said, those determined to damn Israel will go right ahead and do it. It’s the others, those wanting real stories about real places who will believe what is said here if we are honest in our reporting.

    Sadly, police forces everywhere, in the democratic countries, lose it on occasion, or more often, when they feel threatened, and especially if they have not been educated appropriately.

    The general attitude among the UK’s police is immensely better than 20 or 30 years ago with respect to their attitudes towards issues relating to ethnic discrimination and, say, domestic violence, plus they are far more likely to treat sympathetically claims by women that they have been sexually assaulted than back then.

    There are still, as in all police forces, bad apples in the barrel, but I suspect fewer now than then.

    And that will be the case for Israel as well. They are, mostly, getting it right. But that doesn’t let them off the hook when they fall from their own high standards.

    And who would necessarily expect as right-wing a PM as Netanyahu is to react as positively as he done on this matter. That’s because he knows that Israel has to be a socially liberal place, even if he is personally uncomfortable with that.

    • anneinpt says:

      Brian I agree with all your points except the last one. I doubt that Netanyahu is uncomfortable about helping the weaker segments of society. People assume that Netanyahu is a conservative like, say, the Tories or the American Republicans, but the mistake is to assume that Likud is the equivalent of the UK Conservatives or the US Republicans. Likud is probably closer to Labour and the Democrats on most social issues.

      In fact the Israeli Likud and Labour (or Zionist Union) don’t have too much that differ between them except for the security issue, and maybe on the economy to a certain extent. But Likud does not want to get rid of the welfare state or national health; it wants to tinker with it, make it less worthwhile going on the dole for example, but the social safety net will always remain in Israel. Similarly with “race relations” for want of a better word, both parties want a strong integrated Jewish community.

      Let’s not confuse black Jewish Israelis (Ethiopians) with black illegal infiltrators – Sudanese and Eritreans mostly. Even the Labour party is not anxious to encourage more illegal immigration. The difference between the 2 parties is in how they want to deal with the ones that are already here. Likud is more for deporting them while Labour – or at least the left fringe of Labour – wants to help them settle in Israel and assist them.

      Whatever my quibbles with Bibi – and they are legion at the moment – I’m very happy about his social attitudes.

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