Ethiopian Israelis Protest Against Police Brutality

in Life, Culture & Sports

After 24-year old Ethiopian man, Yehuda Biaga, was shot dead by a police officer, thousands of Israelis took to the streets and demonstrated peacefully against unjust police brutality. Protesters gathered by Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv and caused a standstill in traffic. Their aim was to bring attention to the blatant racism and prejudice they experience daily based on the color of their skin.

Ethiopian women at the Kotel during the week of Passover. Taken by Sputnik, on April 20, 2003, Jerusalem. (

The Israeli police department is familiar with the issue, and has responded with the launch of a new project, equipping about 12,000 officers with body cameras. After debate, border guards and riot police will be included. About half will be put into use this year, with a hope to incentivize justice and fairness among the police force. While high tension still exists, there is one reason to celebrate.

In the first wave of approvals, Israel granted a total of 1,000 Jewish Ethiopians allowance to move to Israel, with 82 people arriving on Monday night. In 2018, the immigration of only one family was approved.

This is the first bulk wave allowance of Ethiopian immigrants since 2015, when the Israeli government approved a budget to support the arrival of such immigrants. The budget has not yet been established to support the Aliyah process. About 80% of families remain in Ethiopia, waiting decades to be allowed to immigrate.

Based in the startup city of Tel Aviv, Zo Flamenbaum is a writer and social entrepreneur who dedicates her time to mission-driven projects that empower connection between the many diverse layers of our world. In 2014, she founded School of Shine as a value-based educational space for women who are tired of the ‘default life’ and crave personal freedom through self-expression for more purposeful living.

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