Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Operation Solomon (May 24, 1991)

Operation Solomon was the name given to the rescue of 14,324 Ethiopian Jews by Israeli forces on May 24, 1991. After much negotiation with Ethiopian authorities (and payment of a large sum of money), the Israelis were allowed a very limited time to evacuate the Jewish-Ethiopian refugees from small backwards villages who were waiting to immigrate to Israel. El Al jumbo jets and Hercules C-130s flew in and out of Ethiopia non-stop for 36 hours. This was an even bigger effort than Operation Moses a few years earlier, which flew around 8,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

In my opinion, despite many setbacks, the Israelis' ongoing commitment to these immigrants is also heroic. I have seen early childhood programs, education for young mothers, and other efforts to assimilate them into modern life. Clearly there are many problems, but I respect the efforts.

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