Tel Aviv — The Israeli government is doing nothing to alleviate the plight of Jews in Ethiopia, a leader of the Falasha (Ethiopian Jewish) association in Israel charged. The leader, Zacharia Bogale, said an estimated 28,000 Jews were suffering under the Marxist government of Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam.
"In recent years they have suffered famine, been attacked by rival armed guerrilla movements, and sold as slaves," Mr. Bogale claimed. "Nobody knows how many were killed in the revolution, and now the Mengistu regime refuses to allow them to come to Israel."
Ethiopia's Jews were accepted as Jewish by the Israeli chief rabbinate only in 1975. Before that, the Israeli government ignored them. Bogale claims the Israelis had launched a worldwide campaign on behalf of Soviet Jewry but remained silent about the Falashas.