The cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved a plan to bring 7,846 members of the Ethiopian Falashmura community to Israel over the next four years, after years of lobbying.
Over the past decade, the cabinet has voted several times to bring to Israel the remaining members of the Falashmura in Ethiopia. But each time, it discovered that the transit camps in northern Ethiopia, where they were based, were being filled with Ethiopians who claimed to belong to the "Seed of Israel" and had relatives in Israel.
Activists who support the rights of the Falashmura to immigrate to Israel had promised to end all lobbying activities on their behalf if the proposal was approved.
The rights of the Falashmura to immigrate to Israel has sparked controversy, with opponents arguing that members of this community are Christians whose link to Judaism either does not exist or is weak, and for this reason, it is impossible to estimate how many will eventually seek to immigrate to Israel.
Unlike Ethiopian Jews, the Falashmura are not being allowed into Israel under the Law of Return. Consequently, as part of their absorption process, they undergo conversion and become naturalized citizens.
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