Izraeli Cabinet Approves Plan to Improve the Absorption of Ethiopian Immigrants

Cabinet Approves Plan to Improve the Absorption of Ethiopian Immigrants

The Cabinet today (Sunday), 13.5.12, unanimously approved a plan to improve the absorption of Ethiopian immigrants into Israeli society. The plan is designed to accelerate the integration process for the second generation members of the community into Israeli society and eradicate displays of racism against it. The plan was formulated by Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Harel Locker on instructions from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In the housing sphere, the Cabinet approved increasing the mortgages that will be offered to young Ethiopian couples from NIS 259,000 in 2013 to NIS 500,000 by 2016. The Cabinet decision will encourage young Ethiopian couples to realize the eligibility and purchase apartments.

In order to assist young Ethiopians to more easily integrate into the labor market, the Cabinet approved the establishment of special units for employment guidance. Additionally, in order to promote fair representation in the civil service, 30 additional job slots will be allocated to members of the Ethiopian community. Two additional Ethiopian religious leaders will also be employed; approximately 15 new religious leaders will be added in service to the Ethiopian community.

In order to deal with the displays of racism and prejudice that have been witnessed recently, the Prime Minister’s office National information Directorate will formulate a public information plan.

The decisions that were approved are in addition to the NIS 700 million five-year plan for improving absorption of the immigrants which was approved in 2008 and is designed to assist members of the Ethiopian community vis-à-vis absorption, housing, education, employment, higher education, etc.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, „I have personally met with members of the Ethiopian community and I am impressed that there is a new generation, younger, energetic, active, that takes the initiative, with aspirations, and especially with a strong desire to be integrated into Israeli society. The decision to increase housing grants for Ethiopian immigrants and assist their absorption into the labor market is the next stage in integrating them into Israeli society. I would like, within the coming year, to set additional goals for assisting with their absorption. Our government has done more than any other to ease the distress and help integrate Ethiopian immigrants into Israeli society. First of all, we decided to stop the unacceptable practice of schools for Ethiopians only. We are bringing this phenomenon to an end. In all of these steps, we are delivering several messages to the Israeli public. One, there is no place for racism in Israel, this is unacceptable, there is no place for racism and there is no place for the tolerance of racism. And perhaps most importantly, the Ethiopian immigrants, some of whom and some of whose parents, marched through Africa and overcame deadly dangers, to our sorrow, some did not arrive, they all set out in order to reach Zion. They are our flesh, they are part of us, and we will not tolerate any displays of racism against them.”