President Moshe Katsav on Monday called upon the government to implement a policy of affirmative action to support the integration of Jewish Ethiopian immigrants into Israeli society.
Speaking at the official memorial ceremony for Jewish Ethiopian immigrants who died during their journey to Israel, Katsav said: "I expect the government to use affirmative action and provide full support for the integration of Ethiopian Jews in Israeli society. I wish to tell (Jewish Ethiopians), the government should stand at your side to help you. You deserve an affirmative action policy."
… The Jewish Ethiopian community in Israel holds a memorial ceremony annually since the 1980s, to commemorate some 4,000 of their members who perished in the Sudanese deserts as they were making their way to Israel in a massive operation performed by the Israeli government [with the financial and diplomatic backing of the United States government, which conceived, negotiated and largely paid for the rescues – Shmarya] known as the Moshe Operation.
Beginning last year, the community's quiet unofficial ceremony was replaced by an official state-sponsored ceremony. Justice and Immigrant Absorption Minister Tzipi Livni said in her speech "your mourning must become part of the mourning of the State of Israel."
4000 Ethiopian Jews died in 1983-85 trying to reach Israel. Some were murdered. Many starved to death. Many more died of dysentery and other diseases.
Still, to Orthodox Jews (except for parts of Bnei Akiva and Shas), especially Israeli haredim and American Orthodox Jews of all affiliations, Ethiopian Jews are simply schvartes, with all the negative connotations that word implies.
To Rabbis Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the Novominsker Rebbe, the late Chabad-Lubavitcher Rebbe, Hershal Schachter, JD Bleich, Mordechai Willig, etc., the mourning of Ethiopian Remembrance Day is that more didn't die in the desert or stay behind in Ethiopia so fewer would have survived to 'pollute' Israel.
That Rabbi's Moshe Feinstein, JB Soleveitchik, Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook, Ovadia Yosef, the Hildesheimer and almost any rabbi of true greatness in the last generations endorsed and indeed demanded rescue does not matter.
To the midgets of today's Orthodoxy and their cult-like followers, a schvartze is a schvartze is a schvartze.