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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

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.

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At 11:16 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

A bunch of us out in the diaspora went to meetings about the Ethiopian immigration with Jewish Agency reps and donated repeatedly through the early '90s to the effort. Mr. Asher Ayesa's story is exactly what we would have hoped to read... I've read others too. It looks like Mr. Ayesa is living his life in dignity and energy. Keep up the good work!

At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An Ethiopian Jewish immigrant becoming a police officer in a country for Jews is supposed to prove what? That Israel doesnt have apartheid policies in Palestine?

At 1:46 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel is a country in which non-white people can advance and achieve social equality in a generation.

It would be unimaginable in any of Israel's neighbors, which by definition, are apartheid societies.


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