Another example of Israeli apartheid: Ethiopian immigrant becomes police officer
Here's another example of Israeli apartheid: Ethiopian immigrant Asher Ayesa is about to become a police officer. Here's his story
Ayesa's journey to Israel began when he was two years old and was carried on his mother's shoulders from his native Ethiopia. Around a month later, when they arrived at the border with Sudan, they were suspected by the Sudanese Army of being Jews. To stay alive, his family claimed they were migrant workers. This explanation was not accepted, and 55 members of Ayesa's traveling group were put in prison, where Ayesa stayed until he was seven years old.
"They imprisoned us in a cement building with an iron door and there were limited hours during which we could go outside," Ayesa said.
In 1991, Ayesa and his family finally arrived in Israel and settled in Beersheba. He later enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces' Sayeret Maglan unit. After his release from the army, he collected donations and voluntarily established a club for teens in the neighborhood in which he grew up, in cooperation with the Beersheba municipality.
Currently, Ayesa is part of a police basic training course, which he joined to be an investigator and continue his work with teens.
For Ayesa, the final weeks of the course are not easy. As a former prisoner in Sudan, he can understand the feelings of foreign migrants in Israel and is aware that as a police officer he may be part of units arresting them and deporting them from Israel.
"Despite how the Sudanese treated me and my family, every single human being needs to be treated with respect," he said.
I wonder if any of Ayesa's jailers are among those now trying to stay in Israel. Hmmm.
Labels: Ethiopia, Israeli apartheid