Members of Ethiopia's Jewish community hold pictures of their relatives in Israel, during a solidarity event at the synagogue in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Hundreds of Ethiopian Jews gathered at the synagogue to express concern that Israel's proposed budget removes the funding to help them immigrate to reunite with relatives in that country, as representatives said they will stage a mass hunger strike if Israel eliminates the funding. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Members of Ethiopia's Jewish community hold pictures of their relatives in Israel, during a solidarity event at the synagogue in Addis Ababa. Mulugeta Ayene / AP

Ethiopian Jews threaten mass hunger strike over Israel move



In an emotional gathering, representatives for thousands of Ethiopian Jews announced on Wednesday they will stage a mass hunger strike if Israel eliminates funding to allow them to join their families in that country.

Hundreds met at a synagogue in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, to express concern that Israel's proposed budget removes the funding to help them immigrate to reunite with relatives. Many held photos of their loved ones.

Most of the nearly 8,000 Ethiopian Jews in the East African nation are said to have family members already in Israel. Some told The Associated Press they have been separated for well over a decade.

In 1991 with Ethiopia deep in civil war, Israel carried out the dramatic Operation Solomon, successfully airlifting out some 14,500 Ethiopian Jews in less than two days. Israel's government in 2015 pledged to bring in the remaining Ethiopian Jews, with 1,300 Ethiopians brought in last year, but the effort is now on hold.

"All of us here in Ethiopia are in a foreign land and suffering from acute poverty and hunger," said Meles Sidisto, the community head of Ethiopian Jews in Addis Ababa. "We have had enough here. What have we done wrong to suffer this much?" he added, bursting into tears and prompting others to cry out.

He said Addis Ababa's community of Ethiopian Jews, which numbers around 800 households, will hold a hunger strike if the Israeli government doesn't hear their plea.

Avraham Neguise, a lawmaker who chairs the Israeli parliament's Absorption and Diaspora Committee, said the budget will be voted on in the coming weeks. He accused the government of discrimination, saying it makes it easier for other diaspora communities to immigrate.

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"You cannot find any other communities where the parent is here and children are there and children are here and parents are there and are forced to be separated," he said. "It is only the Ethiopian Jewish community, not the Americans, not the Russians, not Europeans. If this isn't discrimination, what do you call it?"

Of the Ethiopian Jews remaining in Ethiopia, 783 are separated from their children and over 2,000 have parents or siblings in Israel, he said.

While Israeli law allows anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent to immigrate, the trouble here centers on the community's ancestors, said Alisa Bodner, a spokeswoman for the group Struggle for Ethiopian Aliyah. The ancestors were forced to convert to Christianity about a century ago, while their descendants have returned to a "fully Jewish lifestyle," she said.

Wednesday's gathering was described as a solidarity event. Ethiopians currently are prohibited from holding protests under the country's latest state of emergency, imposed this month after the most severe anti-government demonstrations in a quarter-century.

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Director: Jesse V Johnson
Stars: Michael Rooker, Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Olga Kurylenko
Rating: 3/5

Other ways to buy used products in the UAE

UAE insurance firm Al Wathba National Insurance Company (AWNIC) last year launched an e-commerce website with a facility enabling users to buy car wrecks.

Bidders and potential buyers register on the online salvage car auction portal to view vehicles, review condition reports, or arrange physical surveys, and then start bidding for motors they plan to restore or harvest for parts.

Physical salvage car auctions are a common method for insurers around the world to move on heavily damaged vehicles, but AWNIC is one of the few UAE insurers to offer such services online.

For cars and less sizeable items such as bicycles and furniture, Dubizzle is arguably the best-known marketplace for pre-loved.

Founded in 2005, in recent years it has been joined by a plethora of Facebook community pages for shifting used goods, including Abu Dhabi Marketplace, Flea Market UAE and Arabian Ranches Souq Market while sites such as The Luxury Closet and Riot deal largely in second-hand fashion.

At the high-end of the pre-used spectrum, resellers such as Timepiece360.ae, WatchBox Middle East and Watches Market Dubai deal in authenticated second-hand luxury timepieces from brands such as Rolex, Hublot and Tag Heuer, with a warranty.

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, second leg

Roma 4
Milner (15' OG), Dzeko (52'), Nainggolan (86', 90+4')

Liverpool 2
Mane (9'), Wijnaldum (25')

BULKWHIZ PROFILE

Date started: February 2017

Founders: Amira Rashad (CEO), Yusuf Saber (CTO), Mahmoud Sayedahmed (adviser), Reda Bouraoui (adviser)

Based: Dubai, UAE

Sector: E-commerce 

Size: 50 employees

Funding: approximately $6m

Investors: Beco Capital, Enabling Future and Wain in the UAE; China's MSA Capital; 500 Startups; Faith Capital and Savour Ventures in Kuwait

HAJJAN

Director: Abu Bakr Shawky 


Starring: Omar Alatawi, Tulin Essam, Ibrahim Al-Hasawi 


Rating: 4/5

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Price, base / as tested Dh525,000 / Dh559,000

Engine: 3.0L V6 biturbo

Transmission: Nine-speed automatic

Power: 369hp at 5,500rpm

Torque: 500Nm at 1,800rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 8.0L / 100km

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
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UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Four-day collections of TOH

Day             Indian Rs (Dh)        

Thursday    500.75 million (25.23m)

Friday         280.25m (14.12m)

Saturday     220.75m (11.21m)

Sunday       170.25m (8.58m)

Total            1.19bn (59.15m)

(Figures in millions, approximate)