Sunday, May 15, 2011

Israel: The Land of Opportunity

Someone pointed out to me an article in one of the Jewish Lefty rags.

In the article they were calling Israel a racist, discriminatory country.

Their proof? Because only 2,198 out of the 196,000 college and university students currently studying in Israel were Ethiopian Jews – a mere 1.12% (from an article in Yisrael Hayom, not a lefty paper by the way).

Something bothered me about the way that information was being portrayed, so I did a little research on Wikipedia.

In 2008 (the latest numbers in the Wiki) there were 120,000 Ethiopians in Israel, or 1.75% of the total population of Israel.

Of those, only 38,500 (32%) were born in Israel. 81,000 were born in Ethiopia.

Being born in Ethiopia means that in most likelihood they probably didn’t even know how to read and write when they first got to Israel. In fact, I remember one of the early lifts and visiting the new Ethiopian Olim in a hotel in Jerusalem decades ago. These were people who at the time didn’t even know what a toilet was, that’s how primitive Ethiopia was.

Yet here we are, despite a whopping 68% of their population being born in a third world country that for many didn’t even have running water, Israel has managed to create for them the opportunity to reach a point where Ethiopians are nearly proportionally represented in Israeli colleges and universities (not to mention serving in elite IDF units) at any given time relative to their population numbers.

Is there room for improvement? Absolutely. And over time those numbers will rise.

If this doesn’t prove that Israel is a land of freedom and opportunity, then I don’t know what does.

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Anonymous said...

What's better, is that blacks in the united states are about 10% of the population, but are only 3% of the college population...

Anonymous said...

land of opportunity if you come from ethiopia. if you come from the us, not so much...

Anonymous said...

The glass ceiling the sefardim have in Progressive Israeli organizations is virtually unbreakable. How many sefardim have you seen in lead roles in any leftwing organization in Israel?

Anonymous said...

At least the people who write for +972 can spell, JoeCretin!

JoeSettler said...

And they can't do math!

Anonymous said...

The progressive organizations in Israel are running multiple courses on sexual harassment because their leadership and those they have been helping have been repeatedly and serially sexually harassing the female volunteers. This unenlightened behavior coming from the left is an embarrassment to the rest of the country and gives the rest of us a bad reputation overseas.

Anonymous said...

When you consider that only 38,000 Ethiopians were born in Israel, and at best, only 1/2 of the immigrants were young enough to grow up in Israel and get the basic education needed to go to college, you're talking about 2200 people out of a population of no more than 75,000. That's nearly 3%! That's incredible and higher than the national average. Racist! That's another Israeli miracle.

Makabit said...

The Ethiopian community's coming home was one of the great miracle stories of the twentieth century, and the numbers you've crunched show how hard the Ethiopian olim have worked to get to this point. May their strength grow, and strengthen us all.

Mo said...

The story of how Israel has absorbed wave after wave of disparate groups is one of THE most important and miraculous stories of the modern era, and of course, is the polar opposite of what happened with the Palestinians. The only things the Ethiopians and Russians and Tamanim (Yemenites) and olim from Western Europe and the U.S. and Morocco etc. was that they were Jews. But they were black and white and yellow and educated and rich and poor and non-educated and had completely different customs, were nominally religious or not religious at all, or were following a form of Judaism completely unrecognizable to the other Jews.

Why is THIS story not publicized? Instead, all we hear of is about the Palestinians, who in contract, were kept isolated and denigrated and impoverished by their fellow Muslims/Arabs. As I understand, every Arab country save Jordan, which is made up of a lot of Palestinians, HATED the Palestinians except to be used for propaganda and a misdirection to take the heat of their own horrid regimes.

I've been in Israel twice in the past 3 years, and I marveled at scenes where I'd see an Ethiopian laughing with a Hasid in G'eulah, in Yerushalayim, or down at the Kotel, how the S'fardim would be singing and the Hasidim would be singing...and there were no fights, just a cacophony of noise.

I'm not denying there have been problems, of course there have been problems trying to absorb the immigrants, anything from monetary to cultural to religious, but l'havdil, even more so, how AMAZING is it that Israel has accepted all these waves of immigrants, wave AFTER wave, and made them part of the body of Israel.

Prejudice? Ethnic cleansing? Look to what the Arabs have done in their countries. Look to Israel for one of the most amazing stories of the 20th and 21st centuries, that a tiny country with enormous internal and external problems, has been willing and able to accept in refugees.

Israel has and continues to fulfill ITS MISSION, which is to be a place for Jews to have as a home. Anyone wants to yammer about if Zionism is meaningful has to look no further than the story of the repatriation of Jews from all over the world.

JoeSettler said...

Nice comment.

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