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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ethiopian-born Miss Israel to dine with Obama, but he may not like what he hears

At the insistence of a White House advance team, 22-year old Yityish Aynaw, the first Ethiopian-born Miss Israel, has been invited to a state dinner with President Obama while he is in Israel next week. But the President may not like everything he hears from her. This is from the first link.
The mass circulation Yedioth Ahronot newspaper reported that Ms Aynaw – who emigrated to Israel from Ethiopia with her Jewish grandparents after the death of her mother when she was 12 – would have the chance to exchange pleasantries with the president.
She told the newspaper that Mr Obama's status as America's first black president had inspired her to make him the subject of her high school graduation essay.
"For me, he is a role model who broke down barriers, a source of inspiration that proves that every person really can reach any height, regardless of their religion, race or gender," she said. 
The event will have symbolic resonance for Israel's 120,000-plus Jews of Ethiopian origin, who have protested that they are subject to frequent racial discrimination from their co-religionists.
Last month, the Israeli health ministry announced an investigation into allegations – first made in a television documentary – that Ethiopian women immigrants were forcibly given contraceptive injections to reduce birth rates within the community.
The majority of Israel's Ethiopian-origin community emigrated to the country, encouraged by the Israeli government, in two successive waves, in 1984 and 1991.
Mr Obama's desire to meet Ms Awnay is in stark contrast to a snub delivered to Israel's only settlement university, Ariel, in the West Bank.
Student representatives from the university have been pointedly excluded from the president's keynote speech at Jerusalem's International Convention Centre, drawing angry criticism from the pro-settler Jewish Home party, led by Naftali Bennett. Student representatives from all other universities in Israel have been invited.
But Miss Israel may say some things that President Obama doesn't want to hear.
Miss Israel’s YouTube video, which is a clip of an interview aired on Israeli Ch 2 news on Wednesday, March 13, reveals something quite interesting, but utterly non-salacious.
The interviewer asks Aynaw, “What will you tell Obama when you meet him?”
She answers, “That he is a role model for me, and second, that he should free Pollard.”
Aynaw explains that she was very active while in high school – she was head of the student council – working on many different activities to help free Pollard.  She explained to the interviewer that she knows the story very well, and that if she has the opportunity, “lama lo? (why not?)”
So far there has been no response from the White House.
Let's go to the videotape.

I hope that she's young enough and idealistic not to back down. But I suspect that she will be intimidated not to say anything.

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