2014 AAG Paper

Black, Poor, and Jewish: The Ostracism of Ethiopian Jews in Modern Israel” – Click HERE for PDF.

NOTE:  This is a draft.  Please do not cite.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated:  hjl at vt dot edu.

  1. Introduction

The Beta Israel (House of Israel), who currently number 130,000 citizens within Israel,[1] are a unique Jewish community with a continuous history of Jewish practice in Ethiopia dating prior to the birth of Christ. Their status as Jews has been called into question by many communities within Israel; nevertheless, they have always self-identified as Jewish.[2] Since immigrating to Israel, the Beta Israel find themselves caught between what Uri Ben-Eliezer describes as an older “institutional racism” and a “new racism” he refers to as “everyday” racism.[3] Ben-Eliezer states:

The new type of racism that appeared in the second half of the twentieth century was no longer based expressly on the idea of genetic and biological differences. […] In the new racism, the difference between ethnic or religious groups are emphasized and used as a kind of warning sign to prevent the immigrants’ integration into the society and to make clear the danger they supposedly to the society’s unity.[4]

Furthermore, Ben-Eliezer believes that racism becomes more a part of day-to-day life after World War II, becoming less institutionalized in response to certain fascist European policies.[5] Yet, Israel straddles this line between early- and late-20th century forms of racism in their treatment of the Beta Israel, requiring separate housing areas and different immigration policies from other groups making aliyah (immigrating to Israel).

Targeted because of their skin color, their unique Jewish practices, and their cultural differences, the second generation of Ethiopian Jews find themselves slipping further and further down the socioeconomic ladder, with many children never finishing high school and a juvenile delinquency and unemployment rate higher than any other community within Israel. Many scholars believe that this rapidly increasing gap between Ethiopian Jews and other Jews within Israel is due to a shift on the part of the Israeli government away from the social welfare state of its earliest days to a “neo-liberal state with diminishing government intervention, especially in the economy, and with growing privatization”[6] through what Elias and Kemp refer to as a increasingly “ethnonational regime in Israel,” where “religion and race remain central criteria for inclusion in Israel.”[7] The Beta Israel are unique from other groups not only because they are one of the only Black Jewish populations worldwide but because of the state Israel’s heavy involvement in their lives after immigration.

While an understanding of the shifts in governing style and goals within Israel is helpful for understanding how institutional and everyday racism has been allowed to increase in Israel, it is important to examine the site where this racism occurs. From the cleanness of their blood to issues of fertility to the placement of housing, discrimination against the Beta Israel is visited upon their very bodies. Israel’s discrimination toward Ethiopian is explained (though not justified) when one puts it within an understanding of the changing biopolitical nature of postmodern states as explained by Foucault in The History of Sexuality, Volume Two. This paper seeks not to justify the Beta Israel’s status as Jewish; rather, it assumes their Jewishness and instead explores why the Beta Israel, recognized as Jews by the Chief Rabbinate, the highest religious authority in Israel, are not treated as full members either of the Jewish community or as equal citizens of Israel. The negative treatment of the Beta Israel stands in stark contrast to the promise of equal treatment for all citizens of Israel (regardless of religious status) presented in Israel’s Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. After a brief history of the Beta Israel, this paper analyses the institutional and every day racism visited upon the Ethiopian community, exploring through a Foucaultian lens both why and how this racism is able to continue and what is at stake for the multicultural future of Israel.

  1. The Beta Israel: Origins, History, Traditions

While the origin stories of the Beta Israel vary from group to group over hundreds of years, it is generally agreed upon that this Ethiopian community began sometime after the reign of King Solomon. Traditionally, the Beta Israel believe they are the descendants of King Solomon through the Queen of Sheba, whose story is described in 1 Kings 10:1-13.[8] Separated from the Jewish community of Palestine prior to the both canonization of the Hebrew Bible and the writing of the Oral Torah into the Talmud, the Beta Israel consider themselves to be an older, purer form of Judaism. For instance, none of the post-biblical holidays, such as Hanukkah, are practiced within the Ethiopian community, and their Sabbath practices are much more rigorous than even modern-day Orthodox practice.[9] Their canon is far shorter and written in Ge’ez instead of the traditional Hebrew found in most of the Jewish world. Though connected loosely with the historical Elephantine Jewish community of Egypt, they have remained relatively isolated within the upper plateaus Ethiopia for well over 2000 years. [10]

Within Ethiopia, the Beta Israel have maintained their Jewish practice, from the circumcision of boys to their unique dietary and purification practices, even through 1700 years of Christian rule. Yet, even within Ethiopia they faced discrimination. The word for their community according to non-Jewish Ethiopian, Falasha, is pejorative, meaning anything from “immigrant” in some of the more positive translations[11] to “pillager” or “stranger” in others.[12] As “others” within their own homeland, Ethiopian Jews have found themselves caught between two communities: their Ethiopian community, which treats them as a separate tribe from the rest of Ethiopia, and the worldwide Jewish community, which, upon “discovering” them in 1905 by Dr. Jacques Faitlovitch, a Polish-born French Jew, immediately sought ways to “Zionize” and “whiten” them.[13]

After the rise of the Mengistu government in 1970s, the Beta Israel’s status as even Jewish was institutionally rejected. Instead, under the Mengistu regime, they were referred to as ultra-fundamentalist Christians (for their strict adherence to Mosaic law), regardless of the fact that they had no belief in Christ.[14] With increased violence in Ethiopia, including blatant anti-Semitism within the communist Mengistu administration, the Beta Israel began to petition Israel to recognize them officially as a Jewish community allowed to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel). From the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 through 1975, the Chief Rabbinate did not recognize the Beta Israel as a legitimate Jewish community, thus immigration was not permitted.[15] Some still attempted the journey through the Sudan to Israel in the 1970s, with approximately 4000 dying on the way.[16]

The Sephardi Chief Rabbi recognized the Beta Israel as truly Jewish in 1975, with the Ashkenazi recognizing them two years later.[17] Currently, The official Israeli position on Beta Israelis is that their lineage is traceable through the tribe of Dan, though, as was stated earlier, even this is questionable.[18] In three major operations, named Moses (1984), Joshua (1985), and Solomon (1991), the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) airlifted some 23,000 Beta Israelis to Israel. Once in Israel, the Beta Israel were taken to “absorption centers,” where for two years they lived, learning both Modern Hebrew and Israeli culture.[19] For most other communities, this integration period is a mere six months.[20] Furthermore, the loss of Ethiopian culture happens the second they cross the border. Many Beta Israelis are given new names along with their citizenship, Israeli names rather than Ethiopian.[21] Ethiopian Jews in Israel today find themselves at a disadvantage within nearly every statistical measure. Seventy percent of first-generation Ethiopian immigrants find themselves unemployed due to their lack of integration,[22] either not having strong enough Hebrew skills to pass an interview or being rejected for positions when employers realize during their second in-person interview that they are black.[23]

  1. Israeli Ethnocultural Discrimination

Israeli discrimination amongst minority communities is nothing new or terribly surprising. For instance, Arab Christians and Muslims are consistently underrepresented in the Knesset. There are only twelve Arab Christian and Muslim members of the 120 person Knesset, while Arab Christians and Muslims make up nearly 21 percent of the population.[24] Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews, for whom polygyny was legal prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, are no longer allowed to enter into polygynous relationships. Interestingly, the language used to describe the Sephardi and Mizrahi during the earliest days of the country, by Zionist leaders including David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir, is that of culture and religion. They are described as “backwards” and mentally inferior. The early, Ashkenazi Zionist saw it as their responsibility to bring the Sephardim and Mizrahim into the Zionist project, even at the expense of their equally legitimate Jewish and cultural practices. The Sephardim and Mizrahim were treated by the Western, Ashkenazi leadership as a problem to be solved rather than coreligionists with different cultural traditions. [25]

The Beta Israel have been treated similarly to the Sephardim/Mizrahim, who were described as “backwards” and mentally inferior by the earliest Zionist leaders (including Golda Meir and David Ben-Gurion) with one major difference: while the Sephardim/Mizrahim have managed to assimilate (often at the expense of their public practice), Ethiopian Jews have not. As explained by Santamaria, while the Ashkenazim have managed to “de-Orientalize” the Sephardim/Mizrahim, even if the Ethiopians are stripped of their culture, they will still be black.[26] Furthermore, Ethiopian culture is marked by introvertedness, with many conversational cues being relayed by gestures rather than speech. This is markedly different from most Israelis, who are known as being quite extroverted and blunt.[27] These small differences are used to “explain” the challenge of “Zionizing” the Beta Israel. This need on the part of the ruling Ashkenazim to maintain their cultural hegemony is the direct cause. Rather than embracing the multiculturalism inherent in a country of immigrants, Israel’s insistence upon Western cultural hegemony has led to the lack of assimilation of Ethiopian Jews, who can never truly “look” like Israelis.[28]

Israel has, at least in theory, set up an assimilation process for the Beta Israel that would “nationalize” them effectively (though one could easily argue whether this is necessary or even proper). In the two-year required period at the “absorption centers,” the Beta Israel are separated from other citizens, not assimilated into the greater community. Children are sent to private schools (with the cost subsidized by the government) to help bridge the gap in their education (Ethiopian students are often at a disadvantage educationally entering the Israeli school system[29]), but often at the cost of separation from their families and loss of cultural traditions in favor of a more “orthodox” Judaism.[30]

A lack of full assimilation into Israeli culture and society has directly led to the socioeconomic gap between Ethiopian Israelis and Israelis of different ethnic groups. With seventy percent of adult Beta Israelis unemployed, parents find themselves less and less able to communicate with and even raise their children, who see their parents as failures (often looking to an older sibling for guidance).[31] In addition to this socioeconomic gap, Beta Israelis find themselves often receiving subpar medical preventative care as compared to other citizens. Because they are not assimilating, nor learning Hebrew, doctors who speak predominately Hebrew, Russian, German, or Arabic cannot communicate with Ethiopians, and preventative screenings for conditions such as osteoporosis and breast cancer often go unrecommended.[32]

While much attention has been paid to the institutional and everyday discrimination faced by Ethiopian Jews within Israel, far less has been paid to the strategy behind this treatment. What follows is an analysis of how Israeli discrimination against the Beta Israel is focused specifically on their very bodies. Foucaultian biopolitics gives us the how behind these institutions; it explains how Israel justifies its behavior, and how its behavior often goes unquestioned by the Ashkenazim of Israel.

4. Foucaultian Biopolitics: Beta Israel, Bodies, and Blood

In an increasingly conservative, orthodox Israel, the Beta Israel, with their unique practices, are a prime target for cultural discrimination in the realms of their religious practices, the positioning of their bodies, and their very blood. As Foucault explains in The History of Sexuality, Volume 1, during the nineteenth century, the right to take life and let live on the part of a state was replaced with the “power to foster life or disallow it to the point of death.”[33] This shift begins in the seventeenth century, when governments begin using science and statistics to track the health and wellbeing of its political body, including analyzing “propagation, births and mortality, the level of health, life expectancy and longevity, with all the conditions that can cause these to vary.”[34] This included the formation of governmental organizations whose goal it was to enrich life: schools, public health programs, public housing – all for the “betterment” of society, yet with the same controlling of human bodies that the old sovereign right of the death penalty had previously.[35] Politically, power over citizens shifts from the active terror of never knowing as a subject whether or not you will be killed to living under a new system where your entire life is molded for the betterment of the state.

While Israel did not exist during this major shift in sovereign power and governance, its founding by European Zionists is directly connected to some of these changes in views on the role of the state. Foucault’s focus on the “a symbolics of blood to an analytics of sexuality” again becomes important, when one factors in that in spite of Israel being a modern state, it still retains elements of pre-nineteenth century definitions of citizenship. Blood becomes symbolic in the Arab-Israeli conflict time and time again, from the inheritance of citizenship and religion to the donation of blood for the Israeli army.

4.2 The Religion of Beta Israel

It is critical to remember that regardless of their origins, the Beta Israel consider themselves to be Jewish. The Law of Return states, “every Jew has the right to come to this country as an oleh (one who makes aliyah)”; yet at the time of founding, this did not include the Beta Israel. The Law of Return was amended in 1975 to include the Beta Israel, when the Chief Rabbinate of Israel finally considered them to

25 be Jewish. [36] However, unlike other groups, Ethiopian Jews to go through formal conversion ceremonies to Judaism, as if they were not Jewish, because their practice is considered to be non-normative.This involves for women an immersion in a mikveh, or purifying bath, which is seen as incredibly offensive to the Beta Israel, who pride themselves on their purification ceremonies. Male Ethiopians, who traditionally are circumcised, must go through a ritual recircumsion, done by drawing a symbolic drop of blood from the tip of the penis. [37] According to Chehata,

This was understandably taken as a clear insult, given that many Ethiopians consider themselves to be direct descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and, therefore, of a purer bloodline than many of the European Jews who were calling for their ‘conversion’. However, under the Law of Return, ‘the Ethiopian Jews must undergo a process of conversion to Judaism in order to receive all the financial benefits of new immigrants’ and, thus, must concede, however degrading the process may be.[38]

It is important to note that there is no conversion requirements for the olim,[39] 300,000 of the one million Russian immigrants to Israel with nominal connections to Judaism at best and who outright lied about being Jewish to flee Soviet persecution at the worst.[40] Conversion is orthodox, the officially accepted Judaism of Israel, and does not take into account at all the unique traditions of the Ethiopian community.[41] In many towns, Ethiopian synagogues are completely absent, and Ethiopian children are not allowed to attend the more orthodox religious schools, most notably those run by the Chabad-Lubavitch, who do not consider the Beta Israel to be Jewish in spite of the rulings from the Chief Rabbinate.[42]

Additionally, unlike other groups who have been allowed to keep their religious leaders and traditions, Ethiopian Jews find themselves stripped of their religious leadership and ceremonies. The rabbis of the Beta Israel, known as kesim, have been defrocked and must serve as laypersons in religious ceremonies.[43] In fact, most Orthodox rabbis refuse to do Ethiopian-style marriages, and to date,[44] there is only one Ethiopian kesim officially allowed to do ceremonies in Israel.[45] This had led to a loss of religious roots for second-generation Ethiopian Jews, who speak Hebrew over Amharic and Tigrinya and attend services in Hebrew, not Ge’ez. The private schools second-generation Ethiopians attend teach Orthodox, Ashkenazi Judaism. Some of these second-generation Beta Israel respond with religious indifference, like many of their generation within Israel.[46] Others respond quite passionately, referring to the separation of the Beta Israel from their religion as “apartheid.”[47] Nevertheless, within one generation of immigration, the Beta Israel are quickly losing their unique traditions and have been homogenized into the Ashkenazim’s cultural and religious hegemony within Israel.

4.3 The Bodies of Beta Israel

The West Bank settlements are some of the most contentious buildings in the world. Yearly, the United Nations General Assembly condemns the building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, yet yearly, the settlements expand. The why of Israel’s support of Beta Israel’s migration while simultaneously quelling their religious and cultural practices becomes more apparent when one understands where many Ethiopian Jews were relocated upon immigrating to Israel.

As stated earlier 70 percent of Ethiopian Israelis find themselves unemployed once they have immigrated to Israel. Israel offers many immigrants the opportunity for subsidized housing in the West Bank settlements. When questioned, most of the Beta Israel were unaware of the severity of the issues surrounding the settlements; they simply were happy to have a place to live.[48] Israel is able to use their ignorance of the geopolitical situation to continue expanding their settlement projects while simultaneously fulfilling their humanitarian “duty” to provide for these immigrants fleeing from Ethiopia. Placing the Beta Israel in settlements was not the original plan for the integration of Ethiopian Jews. The goal was to place the Beta Israel throughout multiple cities, to help them become members of Israeli society. Instead, the Beta Israel, when not relocated to the settlements, are placed in large groups in several cities throughout Israel.[49] The conditions of these areas have been likened to ghettos, with high instances of crime and low quality of housing.[50]

4.4 The Blood of Ethiopian Jews

In perhaps the most troubling form of racism against the Beta Israel, Ethiopian Jews’ blood is not even treated equally to other citizens’. First in 1993, Ethiopian blood donations for military personnel were systematically frozen and disposed rather than used. This event became known as the “Blood Affair” and caused some of the first major uprisings of Ethiopian Jews regarding their treatment in Israel.[51] Again in 2006, in the wake of the 2006 July War between Israel and Lebanon, blood donations from Ethiopian Jews were systematically frozen and destroyed after being donated. According to Gadi Yevrakan, at that time a 25-year-old law student and military lieutenant, an Ethiopian blood donor “sits, a needle enters his body, a considerable amount of blood is drawn from him, and yet the minute he turns his head they toss his blood to the garbage.”[52] Ethiopian Jews’ sacrifice of their blood is not deemed worthy.

But why? According to the Israeli Health Ministry, they treat the Beta Israel’s blood the same way they would many from sub-Saharan African groups, due to concerns regarding the spread of HIV. Furthermore, they give other examples of other “at risk” groups whose blood is not taken: homosexuals, etc.[53] This puts the Beta Israel in the category of “at risk” simply because of their country of origin. The response from the Israeli Health Ministry was that it was simply following generally agreed upon policies for blood donations originating from individuals who have spent more than a year in central Africa since 1977: “The testing the blood goes through is not enough since some of these diseases have a ‘window’ in which they are undetectable, like HIV, where even a test cannot discover if the blood is contaminated. These guidelines are not an Israeli invention and they are accepted throughout the entire modern world.”[54]To date, no other immigrant group in Israel is treated writ-large in the same way.

This treatment of blood is worrisome on its own, but when tied in with the concepts of citizenship and religious lineage becomes even more problematic. Israeli citizenship is inherited via a legal process known as jus sanguinis (right of blood) along with the Law of Return, rather than by jus soli (right of soil; where one is born). You are Israeli because either your parents were (inheritance by blood) or because you are able to prove your Jewish heritage and immigrate under the Law of Return.[55] Ethiopian Jews, especially the second generation, can prove their citizenship in both ways. And yet, their blood, that very essence that carries their citizenship, is tossed away as unworthy compared to that of their fellow citizens.

It is important to note that for the Beta Israel, blood is an important part of their community. For them, “blood is the soul.”[56] It is what makes you Jewish. To have their blood thrown away is to throw away the very thing that makes them Jewish. For the State to do it when citizenship is determined by bloodlines is highly insulting to the Beta Israel. But the State has not stopped there. The Israel government has been inoculating the Ethiopian Jewish population, either unbeknownst to them or through coercion, with the dangerous birth control shot Depo-Provera. These individuals were given this shot under false pretenses, either told that the Depo-Provera was an inoculation or that birth control was required to immigrate to Israel.[57] As of 2011, 130,000 Jews of Ethiopian descent lived in Israel,[58] approximately 1.7% of the 7.59 million recognized citizens of Israel.[59]   In Ethiopia, these communities had had between 4.5 and 6.2 children on average per family.[60] Yet, though such a small portion of the country, they make up 57 percent of Depo-Provera users nationwide. In the last decade alone, this has led to a 50 percent reduction in the birthrate of the Beta Israel.[61]

Conclusions

So what does Israel stand to gain from its almost Hollywood-like liberation of long-lost Black Jews from Ethiopia? Surely, the humanitarian side is admirable, especially after 4000 Jews have died in the Sudan just trying to make aliyah. But Israel stands to gain far more by systematically moving Ethiopian Jews to Israel and then carefully controlling where they live and how they organize their families. In a unique blend of institutionalized and every day racism, Israel is able to relocate Ethiopian families to its settlement projects that are internationally recognized as illegal. By placing poor, black immigrants (nearly refugees) in these places, rather than well-off, white settlers, Israel is able justify its policies by reminding the world that they are providing a higher quality of life to the Beta Israel than what they would have had in Ethiopia. This paternalism echoes of the treatment of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in the early days of Israel and continues the orientalist policies of the Zionist founders of the State of Israel.[62]

On paper, Israel embraces its multiculturalism. In practice, Israel, by moving past its social welfare origins toward more neoliberal policies, has created a state where, to invoke Orwell, all Jews are equal, but some Jews are more equal than others. Israel stands as a state where the Beta Israel are now afraid to protest their treatment, fearing deportation back to Ethiopia.[63] As Santamaria noted in 1993, just after the first wave of Ethiopian immigration, Israel had a moment to reevaluate their Zionist project, to move it away from the assimilation of the “other” into an Ashkenazi/Orthodox ideal to a state that truly celebrated its multiculturalism. In the two decades since the first wave of Ethiopian immigration, Beta Israel’s culture is becoming diluted, spread thin. The biopolitical project of the State of Israel has succeeded in fulfilling for the Beta Israel the Passover prayer of “Next year in Jerusalem” while simultaneously ostracizing them within their own Jewish homeland.

Works Cited

Beit-Or, Meital Yasur. “Ethiopians Outraged over Blood Disposal.” ynetnews.com (2006). http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3322247,00.html.

Ben-Eliezer, Uri. “Multicultural Society and Everyday Cultural Racism: Second Generation of Ethiopian Jews in Israel’s ‘Crisis of Modernization’.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 31, no. 5 (2008): 935-61.

Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel. “Press Release: 65th Independence Day – More Than 8 Million Residents in the State of Israel.” edited by Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. www1.cbs.gov.il, 14 APR 2013.

Chehata, Hanan. “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?”. Race and Class 53, no. 4 (2012): 67-77.

David, Hanna, and Richard Lynn. “Intelligence Differences between European and Oriental Jews in Israel.” [In English]. Journal of Biosocial Science 39, no. 3 (May 2007 2007): 465-73.

Elias, Nelly, and Adriana Kemp. “The New Second Generation: Non-Jewish Olim, Black Jews and Children of Migrant Workers in Israel.” Israel Studies 15, no. 1 (2010): 73-94.

Flum, Hanoch, and Rachel Gali Cinamon. “Immigration and the Interplay among Citizenship, Identity and Career: The Case of Ethiopian Immigration to Israel.” Journal of Vocational Behavior 78, no. 3 (2011): 372-80.

Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction. Vintage Book ed. New York: Vintage, 1990.

Goldblatt, Hadass and Sara Rosenblum. “Navigating among Worlds: The Experience of Ethiopian Adolescents in Israel.” Journal of Adolescent Research 22, no. 6 (2007): 585-611.

Haynes, Bruce D. “People of God, Children of Ham.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 8, no. 2 (2009): 237-54.

“Israel.” In CIA World Factbook. https://http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/is.html: The Central Intelligence Agency, 2012.

Lyons, Harriet D., and Don Seeman. “Who Is a Jew?”. Anthropology and Humanism 37, no. 2 (2012): 259-61.

Mualem, Mazal. “Arab-Israeli Mps to Get in the Game.” In Al-Monitor. http://www.al-monitor.com: Al-Monitor, 2013.

Nesher, Talila. ” Israeli Minister Appointing Team to Probe Ethiopian Birth Control Shot Controversy ” Haaretz, February 28, 2013.

Santamaria, Ulysses. “Ethiopian Jews in Israel.” Dialectical Anthropology 18, no. 3/4 (1993): 405-12.

Shohat, Ella. “Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the Standpoint of Its Jewish Victims.” Social Text, no. 19/20 (1988): 1-35.

Tandeter, Howard, Iana Masandilove, Irena Kemerly, Aya Biderman. “Ethnic Differences in Preventative Medicine: The Example of Jewish Ethiopian Women in Israel.” Israel Medical Association Journal 9 (2007): 452-56.

Walsh, Sophie D., and Rivka Tuval-Mashiach. “Ethiopian Emerging Adult Immigrants in Israel: Coping with Discrimination and Racism.” Youth and Society 44, no. 1 (2012): 49-75.

Weil, Shaiva. “Israel’s Ethiopian Jews Face Challenges.” (2011). Published electronically March 16, 2011. http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Digital-Library/ISN-Insights/Detail/?lng=en&id=127682&contextid734=127682&contextid735=127094&tabid=127094.

Weingrod, Alex, and André Levy. “Pardoxes of Homecoming: The Jews and Their Diasporas.” Anthropological Quarterly 79, no. 4 (2006): 691-716.

Zegeye, Abebe. “The Construction of the Beta Israel Identity.” Social Identities 10, no. 5 (2004): 589-618.

[1]Hanoch Flum and Rachel Gali Cinamon, “Immigration and the Interplay among Citizenship, Identity and Career: The Case of Ethiopian Immigration to Israel,” Journal of Vocational Behavior 78, no. 3 (2011): 373.

[2]Abebe Zegeye, “The Construction of the Beta Israel Identity,” Social Identities 10, no. 5 (2004): 591.

[3]Uri Ben-Eliezer, “Multicultural Society and Everyday Cultural Racism: Second Generation of Ethiopian Jews in Israel’s ‘Crisis of Modernization’,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 31, no. 5 (2008): 938.

[4]Ibid.

[5]Ibid.

[6]“Multicultural Society and Everyday Cultural Racism: Second Generation of Ethiopian Jews in Israel’s ‘Crisis of Modernization’,” 950.

[7]Nelly Elias, and Adriana Kemp, “The New Second Generation: Non-Jewish Olim, Black Jews and Children of Migrant Workers in Israel,” Israel Studies 15, no. 1 (2010): 88.

[8] 1 Kings 10:1-13 (NRSV): “When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon (fame due to the name of the Lord), she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she told him all that was on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her. When the queen of Sheba had observed all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food of his table, the seating of his officials, and the attendance of his servants, their clothing, his valets, and his burnt offerings that he offered at the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her.  So she said to the king, ‘The report was true that I heard in my own land of your accomplishments and of your wisdom, but I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. Not even half had been told me; your wisdom and prosperity far surpass the report that I had heard. Happy are your wives! Happy are these your servants, who continually attend you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king to execute justice and righteousness.’ Then she gave the king one hundred twenty talents of gold, a great quantity of spices, and precious stones; never again did spices come in such quantity as that which the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. Moreover, the fleet of Hiram, which carried gold from Ophir, brought from Ophir a great quantity of almug wood and precious stones. From the almug wood the king made supports for the house of the Lord, and for the king’s house, lyres also and harps for the singers; no such almug wood has come or been seen to this day. Meanwhile King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba every desire that she expressed, as well as what he gave her out of Solomon’s royal bounty. Then she returned to her own land, with her servants.” According to the Beta Israel, the Queen of Sheba was understood to have returned home pregnant, bringing with her the Jewish religion, and Sheba and Solomon’s children became the rulers of Ethiopia. See Hanan Chehata, “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?,” Race and Class 53, no. 4 (2012): 68-9.

[9]Ulysses Santamaria, “Ethiopian Jews in Israel,” Dialectical Anthropology 18, no. 3/4 (1993): 406-7.

[10]Ibid.

[11]Chehata, “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?,” 67.

[12]Alex Weingrod and André Levy, “Pardoxes of Homecoming: The Jews and Their Diasporas,” Anthropological Quarterly 79, no. 4 (2006): 698.

[13]Bruce D. Haynes, “People of God, Children of Ham,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 8, no. 2 (2009): 241.

[14]Santamaria, “Ethiopian Jews in Israel,” 406.

[15]Chehata, “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?,” 69.

[16]“Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?.”

[17]Haynes, “People of God, Children of Ham,” 245.

[18]Zegeye, “The Construction of the Beta Israel Identity,” 592.

[19]Chehata, “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?,” 70.

[20]Santamaria, “Ethiopian Jews in Israel,” 409.

[21]Chehata, “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?,” 71.

[22]Sophie D. Walsh, and Rivka Tuval-Mashiach, “Ethiopian Emerging Adult Immigrants in Israel: Coping with Discrimination and Racism,” Youth and Society 44, no. 1 (2012): 51.

[23]“Ethiopian Emerging Adult Immigrants in Israel: Coping with Discrimination and Racism,” Youth and Society 44, no. 1 (2012): 64-5.

[24]Mazal Mualem, “Arab-Israeli Mps to Get in the Game,” in Al-Monitor (www.al-monitor.com: Al-Monitor, 2013); Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, “Press Release: 65th Independence Day – More Than 8 Million Residents in the State of Israel,” ed. Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (www1.cbs.gov.il14 APR 2013).

[25]Ella Shohat, “Sephardim in Israel: Zionism from the Standpoint of Its Jewish Victims,” Social Text, no. 19/20 (1988): 5.

[26]Santamaria, “Ethiopian Jews in Israel,” 410.

[27]Walsh, “Ethiopian Emerging Adult Immigrants in Israel: Coping with Discrimination and Racism,” 69.

[28]Haynes, “People of God, Children of Ham,” 248.

[29]Hanna David and Richard Lynn, “Intelligence Differences between European and Oriental Jews in Israel,” Journal of Biosocial Science 39, no. 3 (2007): 470.

[30]Ben-Eliezer, “Multicultural Society and Everyday Cultural Racism: Second Generation of Ethiopian Jews in Israel’s ‘Crisis of Modernization’,” 942.

[31]Walsh, “Ethiopian Emerging Adult Immigrants in Israel: Coping with Discrimination and Racism,” 52.

[32] See Howard Tandeter, Iana Masandilove, Irena Kemerly, Aya Biderman, “Ethnic Differences in Preventative Medicine: The Example of Jewish Ethiopian Women in Israel,” Israel Medical Association Journal 9(2007).

[33]Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction, Vintage Book ed. (New York: Vintage, 1990), 138.

[34]The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction, Vintage Book ed. (New York: Vintage, 1990), 139.

[35]In part five of The History of Sexuality, Volume One, Foucault discusses the political changes that occurred in Europe beginning in the nineteenth century that played a role in changing the West’s definitions of power and authority. A movement away from political structures of the Middle Ages toward the nation-state created “wars [that were] no longer waged in the name of a sovereign who must be defended; [they were] waged on behalf of the existence of everyone.” He explains: “the new procedures of power that were devised during the pre-modern period and employed in the nineteenth century were what caused our societies to go from “a symbolics of blood to an analytics of sexuality.” In pre-modern Europe, governments had the “right” to “take life and let live,” as seen by practices such as the death penalty. As Foucault further explains, as the power of the sovereign over life waned at the end of the seventeenth century, “crimes” such as suicide began being seen less as crimes against the king (who alone had power over life on earth) or God (who condemns suicide as sin) and more as the individual’s “right to die.” The right to life thus moves from the purview of the sovereign to the right of the individual. See The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction, 137-9..

[36]Weingrod and Levy, “Pardoxes of Homecoming: The Jews and Their Diasporas,” 692.

[37]Chehata, “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?,” 75.

[38]Ibid.

[39]Haynes, “People of God, Children of Ham,” 246-7.

[40]Elias, “The New Second Generation: Non-Jewish Olim, Black Jews and Children of Migrant Workers in Israel.”

[41]Weingrod and Levy, “Pardoxes of Homecoming: The Jews and Their Diasporas,” 699.

[42]Chehata, “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?,” 75-6.

[43]Ben-Eliezer, “Multicultural Society and Everyday Cultural Racism: Second Generation of Ethiopian Jews in Israel’s ‘Crisis of Modernization’,” 944.

[44]Weingrod and Levy, “Pardoxes of Homecoming: The Jews and Their Diasporas,” 699.

[45]Ben-Eliezer, “Multicultural Society and Everyday Cultural Racism: Second Generation of Ethiopian Jews in Israel’s ‘Crisis of Modernization’,” 944.

[46]Santamaria, “Ethiopian Jews in Israel,” 410.

[47]Ben-Eliezer, “Multicultural Society and Everyday Cultural Racism: Second Generation of Ethiopian Jews in Israel’s ‘Crisis of Modernization’,” 944.

[48]Chehata, “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?,” 75.

[49]Weingrod and Levy, “Pardoxes of Homecoming: The Jews and Their Diasporas,” 699.

[50]“Pardoxes of Homecoming: The Jews and Their Diasporas,” 694.

[51]Harriet D. Lyons and Don Seeman, “Who Is a Jew?,” Anthropology and Humanism 37, no. 2 (2012): 259-60.

[52]Meital Yasur Beit-Or, “Ethiopians Outraged over Blood Disposal,” ynetnews.com(2006), http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3322247,00.html.

[53]Ben-Eliezer, “Multicultural Society and Everyday Cultural Racism: Second Generation of Ethiopian Jews in Israel’s ‘Crisis of Modernization’,” 945.

[54]Beit-Or, “Ethiopians Outraged over Blood Disposal”.

[55]Flum and Cinamon, “Immigration and the Interplay among Citizenship, Identity and Career: The Case of Ethiopian Immigration to Israel,” 374.

[56]Chehata, “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?,” 73.

[57]Talila Nesher, ” Israeli Minister Appointing Team to Probe Ethiopian Birth Control Shot Controversy ” Haaretz February 28, 2013.

[58]Shaiva Weil, “Israel’s Ethiopian Jews Face Challenges,” (2011), http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Digital-Library/ISN-Insights/Detail/?lng=en&id=127682&contextid734=127682&contextid735=127094&tabid=127094.

[59]“Israel,” in CIA World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/is.html: The Central Intelligence Agency, 2012).

[60]Hadass and Sara Rosenblum Goldblatt, “Navigating among Worlds: The Experience of Ethiopian Adolescents in Israel,” Journal of Adolescent Research 22, no. 6 (2007): 586.

[61]Nesher, ” Israeli Minister Appointing Team to Probe Ethiopian Birth Control Shot Controversy “.

[62]Ben-Eliezer, “Multicultural Society and Everyday Cultural Racism: Second Generation of Ethiopian Jews in Israel’s ‘Crisis of Modernization’,” 942.

[63] Chehata, “Israel: Promised Land for Jews … As Long as They’re Not Black?,” 75.

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