Israel admits 'mistakes' over the Ethiopian Jewish community
(Medeshi)- President Reuven Rivlin of Israel said on Monday (May 4) that Israel had made mistakes in its treatment of the Ethiopian Jewish community.
Still picture of two police officers attacking an Ethiopian Jewish soldier
He described their suffering as “an open and raw wound at the heart of Israeli society” and said “We have made mistakes. We did not look, we did not listen”. The President’s statement came after thousands of Ethiopian Israelis took to the streets on Sunday over allegations of police brutality. Ethiopian Israelis claim their community, which is estimated to number over 130,000 has suffered widespread discrimination for many years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with community representatives at the beginning of the week to try to ease tensions after police fired stun grenades and used water cannon to disperse a crowd of protesters in Tel Aviv, arresting 43 demonstrators. Violence originally broke out Jerusalem last week when a large crowd clashed with police in a protest against the beating of an Ethiopian born IDF soldier by police. The Prime Minister called for calm following the protest. He said he strongly condemned the beating and those responsible would be held accountable. He said that immigrants from Ethiopia were “dear to us,” and that the state was making great efforts to ease their integration into society.