These Ethiopian ‘Christians’ are Jews, period
Half of all Russian, recent immigrants to Israel don’t have any Jewish ancestry at all. They came because of family unification. In sharp contrast, all Ethiopians who want to make Aliyah are Jews. Some of their ancestors have converted to Christianity, which doesn’t make them less Jewish at all.
There is no dispute among Orthodox rabbis (for a change): conversion does not erase one’s Jewishness or the Jewish status of one’s offspring. Adherence to an alien religion or idol worship is ended by immersion in a ritual bath (without blessing), but also without that, converts stay Jews.
Therefore, any hesitation to help (or resolve to hinder) them to make Aliyah is rooted in anti-Black racism. Israelis are vivid opponents of racism and we must demand that our capitalist government will be anti-racist.
Also, we’re talking about a million Russians and a couple of thousand Ethiopians. It’s racism that stops them, no matter how you turn it.
They are not the same as Christians who seek to proselytize Jews. They don’t claim that the best Christians are Jewish or that the best Jews are Christian. They don’t know Judaism. They need to be taught Judaism so that they will be free to return to the religion of their ancestors. But in any case, they are Jews. Which you can tell from their graceful character traits.
(Russian Gentiles who chose to live here and want to move closer to becoming Jews should find assistance and ease to realize that. Especially those who serve(d) in the IDF.)
This may open possibilities for other African groups to (re)claim Judaism and make Aliyah. Good for us! The ills and wounds of the anti-Yemenite racism have not healed yet. We must uproot all institutionalized racism.
Having Ethiopian ‘Christian’ Jews make Aliyah on humanitarian grounds is insulting. This is their Land as much as it’s of us already living here.
They don’t have a Right to make Aliyah. They have an Obligation to make Aliyah. And we have an Obligation to make that happen still this year.