UJC and the Falas Mura

April 1, 2000
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Stephen D. Solender

Recently, the leadership of United Jewish Communities (UJC) had very intensive and productive discussions with ministers and other officials in the Israeli government regarding the Falas Mura situation. We urged that the Israeli government accelerate the processing of the Falas Mura in Addis Ababa to determine, as quickly as possible, who among them is Jewish and would, consequently, be qualified to be admitted to Israel.

During our briefings, we came to appreciate the complexity of the situation. We understand that it is a very sensitive matter. UJC will continue to maintain close contact with Israeli officials. Natan Sharansky, the Minister of the Interior, has agreed to schedule regular briefing calls with the UJC leadership so that we can follow this matter closely and assist the Israelis in resolving it as soon as possible.

We continue to believe that the primary responsibility for financing the absorption should be that of the Israeli government. However, as has been the case in past rescue efforts, we are prepared to participate significantly, as partners, in financing the rescue and the initial absorption. We are not in the position to finance the long-term absorption.

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Stephen D. Solender is President and CEO of UJC

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