Ethiopian Israeli speaks

This 4 July 2019 video is called Ethiopian Israelis and Systematic Discrimination.

By Avi Yalou in United States Jewish daily Forward, 3 July 2019:

My Fellow Israelis: Black Lives Matter Is Your Fight, Too

I grew up in Kiryat Malachi, Israel.

Scratch that.

I grew up black in Kiryat Malachi, Israel.

My family came to Israel from Ethiopia when I was somewhere between five and six years old. I was number eight of ten children, part of a veritable private tribe.

Generations of my family dreamed of making aliya. They dreamed that when they got to Israel, they would finally feel safe and welcome. In

mostly Christian, also Islamic

Ethiopia we were seen as foreign elements, strangers because of our Jewishness. In Israel, we thought, we would finally find acceptance. We would not be strangers. We would be Jews among other Jews.

We were wrong.

Monday’s killing of the unarmed eighteen-year-old Ethiopian Israeli Solomon Teka by an off-duty police officer shows us just how wrong we were.

After three days of mass protests, the Ethiopian Israeli community’s call is basic: We demand to be treated as equal among equals. We demand an end to racial profiling. We want full recognition of our community’s Jewishness.

These demands are simple, and they’re not just for us. When we fight for Ethiopian Israeli rights, we fight for every minority in Israel who has seen their rights trampled — Arab citizens, ultra-Orthodox citizens, LGBTQ citizens, and Israelis living in the periphery.

When I was invited to oppose the racist Nation State Law that demotes Palestinian citizens of Israel to second class status, I did so, loudly. I want to invite others in to join my fight, too. Because there is no other way to build an Israel where white, black or brown, the color of your skin does not determine the extent of your rights. We don’t have an Israel like that yet.

Ethiopian families like mine encountered racism from day one in Israel. Not just the kind of racism where people call you names in school, though we had that too. The built-in, systemic kind where, even if you’ve prayed all your life for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, you had to be “converted” to Judaism in the Orthodox fashion. Or where your elders, who had been the ritual leaders of our community for time immemorial, were now barred from performing circumcision, marriage, or any other significant Jewish ceremony.

But that was just the beginning. Then there were the gaps. Gaps in wages; gaps in education. And the higher rates. Rates of arrest, open police files, incarceration. And, on Monday, yet again, we saw an unarmed, Ethiopian Israeli citizen shot by police.

Solomon Teka’s name is only the latest in the growing list of Israeli youth of Ethiopian descent who are now dead because of police shootings. Earlier this year, another young man, Yehuda Biadga, was shot and killed by a police officer. He was twenty-four years old and suffering from mental illness. In 2015, footage of a police officer beating an Ethiopian Israeli soldier in his IDF uniform was caught on tape.

We protested then, like we are protesting now. We held signs with the names of the unarmed black men killed in Israel by police, side-by-side with signs those of the unarmed black men killed in Baltimore by police. We knew then that the struggle was a global one: that the same racial profiling that police employ in America is what they practice here in Israel. That racism is an infection that doesn’t go away unless you treat it. And Israel is not immune.

In Israel we aren’t just angry; we are disappointed. We have been betrayed. Ethiopian Jews had come to Israel seeking freedom, not as slaves. We had yearned to come; we were returnees! And still, we were met with the ugliness of racism.

Here’s what I don’t want: I don’t want to an apology. An apology won’t bring back Solomon. It won’t bring back Yehuda. It won’t bring back any of the kids who died because they happened to encounter a police officer.

What we want now is to prevent the next murder, the next senseless killing. For that to happen, we need justice. We need to see this police officer held legally accountable so that the next police officer will think twice before he puts his hand in his holster and starts to shoot civilians. No, I don’t want an apology.

Here’s what else I don’t want: I don’t want to be a lone voice. I don’t want to look into the faces of teenagers protesting and see the fear of isolation and aloneness. I don’t want to hear them asking, “Why are only black people marching?”

I want you to join me and join us. I want this struggle – the fight for the future of our country — to be shared. Because it is shared. Because I share in your pain and you share in mine.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Ethiopian Israeli community to show restraint and obey the law. But the law is not on our side. The law does not protect us. And so we are doing what is fully our democratic right: We are assembling. We are expressing our discontent. We are organizing.

We want you to join us. We won’t stop until the law works for all of us.

Avi Yalou is an Ethiopian Israeli activist who works on a variety of social justice issues in Israel. Follow him on Twitter @aviyalou.

While Monday’s demonstrators against police brutality and racism were largely Israelis of Ethiopian origin, on Tuesday and Wednesday workers and especially youth across all communities, as well as migrant workers, who have long faced racism and discrimination, were protesting in solidarity. Since the 2008 financial crisis, conditions for the working class have worsened as well-paying jobs have been erased and replaced with low-wage labour and wages eroded by the soaring cost of living: here.

New frog species discovery in Ethiopia

This 2010 video is called Ethiopia Welo Opal Frog Carving.

From New York University in the USA:

New frog species found on remote Ethiopian mountain

February 12, 2019

Summary: A new species of puddle frog (order: Anura, family: Phynobatrachidae, genus: Phrynobatrachus), has just been discovered at the unexplored and isolated Bibita Mountain in southwestern Ethiopia. The research team named the new species Phrynobatrachus bibita sp. nov., or Bibita Mountain dwarf puddle frog, inspired by its home.

In summer 2018, NYU Abu Dhabi Postdoctoral Associates Sandra Goutte and Jacobo Reyes-Velasco explored an isolated mountain in southwestern Ethiopia where some of the last primary forest of the country remains. Bibita Mountain was under the radars of the team for several years due to its isolation and because no other zoologist had ever explored it before.

“Untouched, isolated, and unexplored: it had all the elements to spike our interest,” says Dr. Reyes-Velasco, who initiated the exploration of the mountain. “We tried to reach Bibita in a previous expedition in 2016 without success. Last summer, we used a different route that brought us to higher elevation,” he added.

Their paper, published in ZooKeys journal, reports that the new, tiny frog, 17 mm for males and 20 mm for females, is unique among Ethiopian puddle frogs. Among other morphological features, a slender body with long legs, elongated fingers and toes, and a golden coloration, set this frog apart from its closest relatives.

Phrynobatrachus bibita female“When we looked at the frogs, it was obvious that we had found a new species, they look so different from any Ethiopian species we had ever seen before!” explains Dr. Goutte.

Back in NYU Abu Dhabi, the research team sequenced tissue samples from the new species and discovered that Phrynobatrachus bibita sp. nov. is genetically different from any frog species in the region.

“The discovery of such a genetically distinct species in only a couple of days in this mountain is the perfect demonstration of how important it is to assess the biodiversity of this type of places. The Bibita Mountain probably has many more unknown species that await our discovery; it is essential for biologists to discover them in order to protect them and their habitat properly,” explains NYU Abu Dhabi Program Head of Biology and the paper’s lead researcher Stéphane Boissinot, who has been working on Ethiopian frogs since 2010.

Ethiopian British political prisoner freed

This video from Britain says about itself:

Father’s Day Messages for Andy Tsege & Boris Johnson

18 June 2017

Andy Tsege’s 10-year-old twins Yilak and Menabe send Father’s Day messages to their dad and to Boris Johnson, asking him to help reunite them with their Dad.

Andy Tsege is a British father of three who has been on death row in Ethiopia for nearly three years. Andy, a prominent critic of the Ethiopian government, was kidnapped and taken to face a politically motivated death sentence illegally handed down when he was living in London with his partner and three children, Helawit (now 17) and twins Yilak and Menabe (now 10).

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Andy Tsege is free

ETHIOPIA’S decision to pardon and release Andy Tsege, a British citizen who was kidnapped abroad in order to be jailed in the country, is a welcome end to a long-standing injustice.

Addis Ababa would not have released Tsege without the pressure it has faced from below with mass protests against the government forcing the prime minister from office last week.

But his freedom is also down to the dogged campaigning of his family and supporters over here — including that of his MP, now leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn consistently highlighted Tsege’s plight, including by planning a delegation to Ethiopia to visit him that was only called off when the authorities made it clear they would not be permitted access.

That commitment to justice has been displayed too in his relentless campaigning for the release of other innocent prisoners such as Shaker Aamer, the British resident locked up in the US concentration camp of Guantanamo Bay without trial for over 13 years until his release in 2015.

The contrast with May, whose indifference to the fate of Britons jailed abroad is matched by her zeal to deport people from our own shores whether or not they have a right to be here, is stark.

The Tsege story is one more reminder why we need to replace the Prime Minister with the most principled leader of the opposition our country has seen.

Saudi regime abuse of Ethiopian workers

This video says about itself:

Ethiopian Women Risk Abuse in Saudi Arabia

Jan. 24 2013 — Ethiopian women are leaving their villages to work as maids in Saudi Arabia, lured by foreign wages which far outweigh their potential earnings at home. When they arrive, some discover they have few rights and face risks which include sexual abuse. Bloomberg‘s Eric Coleman reports.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Friday, December 29, 2017

Migrants deported from Saudi Arabia complain of abuse and theft

ETHIOPIANS deported from Saudi Arabia in a new crackdown have alleged that they were abused by police while detained in the Gulf kingdom.

Returnees told reporters upon their arrival in Addis Ababa that Saudi police took their possessions and dished them out among themselves. Some said that police shot and wounded migrants who tried to flee the round-ups.

“The prison cell I was put into was so dirty that some of us were severely sick. It was like a toilet,” said former teacher Sadiq Ahmed, who went to Saudi Arabia five years ago and was locked up for almost two weeks.

“As if this was not enough, we were robbed of our belongings. I came here with nothing. I know lots of people who went insane because of this torment.”

About 50,000 people have been deported from Saudi Arabia since the latest wave of deportations began in mid-November.

Saudi authorities claim that there are about 250,000 undocumented migrants in the country. Roughly three-quarters of those who have entered the country illegally are from Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is waging a bloody British and US-backed war, and most of the rest from Ethiopia.

Mussolini’s mass murder in Ethiopia

This video says about itself:


7 January 2009

Slave descendants in America & Jamaica help the Emperor Haile Selassie I & Ethiopia to stop the invasion of fascist Italy at the time. I hope today people see & learn the truth, what happened in 1935 & respect people from other culture. Ras Order, reggae historian.

By Peter Mason in Britain:

Revelatory account of fascist Italy’s genocide in pre-WWII Ethiopia

Monday 18th September 2017

The Addis Ababa Massacre: Italy’s National Shame

by Ian Campbell (Hurst, £24)

ON FEBRUARY 19, 1937, less than a year after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, resistance fighters threw hand grenades at members of the fascist Italian high command as they assembled for a public ceremony at the occupied emperor’s palace in the country’s capital, Addis Ababa. No-one was killed but a handful of highranking officials were injured.

The guerilla attack provided the perfect excuse for an immediate response of incredible brutality from the Italian occupying forces as they embarked on a three-day orgy of bloody depravity that killed 19,000 Ethiopians in the capital — a fifth of the population.

With dreadful savagery Italian civilians, [fascist paramilitary] blackshirts and army personnel, encouraged by an official announcement that they had “carta bianca” — permission to do what they wanted — flooded onto the streets to bludgeon defenceless local citizens to death with shovels, daggers, clubs and anything else they had to hand.

Families were sealed inside their huts as they were set alight with flame throwers, men were tied alive to trucks and driven around until they were torn apart and hand grenades were thrown into crowds of fleeing innocents. Women and young girls were raped and disembowelled, while others had their hands tied behind their backs and were thrown off bridges and into wells.

Even when the authorities called an official halt to the slaughter after 72 hours, the murder, rape, torture and pillaging continued for many more days. For months afterwards, thousands were herded into concentration camps, where they perished from hunger or disease.

For the past 25 years, author Ian Campbell has tasked himself with gathering as much material as he can find about this horrific frenzy of bloodlust which, he argues, gives the lie to the idea that Mussolini’s brand of fascism was somehow more benign than Hitler’s nazism.

Amazingly, thanks to Allied prevarication after the second world war, no-one was ever brought to book for the crimes committed over those three days and, while most of the Italian protagonists are now dead and gone, Campbell has been determined to put their deeds down on paper for all to see.

This is by far the most complete account of the massacre ever constructed and it is an important, impressive body of work. What it is not, though, is a “good read.” In Campbell’s understandable commitment to corroborating and confirming the evidence, his 478-page tome takes on the feel of a long inquiry report rather than a book.

As it progresses painstakingly through the atrocities, the author’s commitment to providing a narrative gradually wanes and, by the second half, the reader has to be content with little more than a series of disjointed observations, potted histories and eyewitness accounts, rather than any held-together story.

As a document designed for posterity that approach might be justified but, as a book, the job could have been done using half the space.

Does that matter? Probably yes, because one of Campbell’s stated aims is to bring much greater attention to a forgotten corner of history. Crass as it may appear to ask for such wicked events to be presented in a more engaging fashion, the truth is that by doing so Campbell would have had a much better chance of reaching a wider audience.

See also here.

Gelada baboons in Ethiopia

This video says about itself:

Why These Vegetarian Monkeys Have Sharp Predator Teeth

9 June 2017

In the Ethiopian highlands, native Geladas have impressive canines despite being grass eaters. The reason is simple: The males need to defend themselves and their group against potential challengers.

Ecocide: Catastrophic dam in Ethiopia to wipe out Unique Cultures

This video from Kenya says about itself:

20 April 2012

Many Kenyan residents say the Gibe III dam project, located along the Omo River, will have a negative impact on their environment. VOA‘s Vincent Makori reports and talks to Ikal Angelei, founder of Friends of Lake Turkana Kenya, 2012, Goldman, Environmental Prize Winner.

The Free

5939243629_8f1991e0de_bOne of the most controversial dams in history has been  inaugurated. The Gibe III dam has put an end to the natural flooding of Ethiopia’s Omo River, on which 100,000 indigenous people depend and a further 100,000 rely indirectly. Experts have warned that this could also mean the end for Lake Turkana in Kenya – the world’s largest desert lake – and disaster for the 300,000 tribespeople living along its shores.descarga-1

The dam was built by Italian engineering giant Salini Impregilo, against which Survival has filed a formal complaint that is still ongoing. Plans are now underway to build the Gibe IV and Gibe V dams downriver.

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German government supports Ethiopian dictatorship

This video says about itself:

‘Several’ killed during protest at Irreecha festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia

A deadly stampede broke out after Ethiopian police reportedly fired tear gas to break up an ethnic Oromo protest during a festival with several people killed south of the capital, Addis Ababa in Bishoftu formerly known as Debre Zeit.

Oct 2, 2016

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

German Chancellor Merkel backs oppressive Ethiopian regime

13 October 2016

To conclude her three-day Africa visit which also took her to Mali and Niger, German Chancellor Angela Merkel travelled to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Tuesday where she was welcomed with military honours.

Her reception speaks volumes about the reactionary character of the return of German militarism to Africa. Just two days prior to the chancellor’s visit, the Ethiopian regime declared a six-month state of emergency in order to undertake even more brutal measures to suppress popular protests.

On the previous weekend, heavily armed security forces attacked a mass rally to mark the traditional harvest festival of the Oromo people. Fifty-five people were killed, according to official statistics, but opposition sources reported more than 650. Youtube videos showed helicopters dropping tear gas onto the crowd of people and security forces firing into the crowds.

According to media reports, the army has shot more than 1,000 people since the protests broke out last November in the Oromo and Amhara regions.

The protests are directed against the government of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which has governed the country in an authoritarian manner since 1991 and brutally suppressed all opposition. The uprising by the Oromo and Amhara peoples was triggered above all by the government’s land policy, which compels impoverished farmers to sell off their land for next to nothing to the state in order for it to be sold off to foreign investors.

With a population of 92 million and an average gross national income of $570, Ethiopia is among the poorest countries in the world. The economic growth of the past decade has benefited only a small corrupt ruling elite. The vast majority of the population lives below the absolute poverty level. According to World Bank data from 2015, more than 30 percent of the population in 2011 had to live on less than $1.25 a day.

The repressive measures of the regime are so obvious that even sections of the bourgeois press in Germany could not avoid discussing it. “If we had peace in this country, then 200 people would not have died in this way,” Biru Tadese, the father of a victim, told ARD. “Who should we complain to? The government acts like God. Who should we talk to? We just bury our dead. I saw how they loaded bodies onto trucks like wheat or corn. But these are human beings.”

Another father named Khala complained, “My son just went out to charge his phone. They shot him from behind as he tried to run away from them. He never threw any stones, nothing. He is a teacher. My son died even though he did nothing bad.”

None of this prevented Merkel from meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn …

It is becoming ever clearer that an important factor in the imperialist powers’ offensive in Africa is the fear of a revolutionary upsurge of the masses as took place in Egypt and Tunisia five years ago. At a joint press conference with Desalegn, Merkel offered German support for the Ethiopian police and warned, “The hatred and dissatisfaction towards the political institutions is growing to such an extent that the acceptance of the state is no longer there.”

In her speech to the AU, Merkel also made clear to the African regimes that she supports the suppression and brutal exploitation of their populations in the name of “peace and security.” She cynically declared, “The African Union and its regional organisations have demonstrated how important the ability to act is. With rapid reactions and negotiations, it has been possible to prevent several large-scale outbreaks of violence. This experienced responsibility saves lives and opens new perspectives.”

Merkel made clear the “perspectives” she was talking about in her subsequent remarks. She called for the prevention of illegal migration, caused by Africans “with completely wrong impressions” setting off for Europe. To this end she referred to the migration partnerships with the European Union (EU). Under these agreements, despots like the Egyptian dictator al-Sisi, Sudan’s Omar el-Bashir and even Desalegn himself will receive €1.8 billion from the EU to detain refugees in Africa and keep them away from Europe.

In addition, Merkel praised Germany’s military interventions in Africa. Of the German army’s military operations in Mali, she said, “Germany is making its own contribution there. Up to 600 German soldiers are involved in MINUSMA. Securing the stability of Mali is of decisive significance for developments throughout West Africa.”

Berlin is now apparently advancing similar plans in other parts of Africa. Merkel referred to the Democratic Republic of Congo and how “ten years ago […] German soldiers ensured that the presidential elections took place peacefully.” Now “the issue is whether free elections take place,” to “protect Congo from a deep crisis.”

“The situation in Burundi” caused her “great concern.” One could see there “the danger that old conflicts could flare up once again.” By contrast, “the engagement of the African Union in Somalia” was impressive. Now more than ever it was necessary to “direct all forces to stabilise Libya.” For this, she explicitly encouraged “the African Union to intervene and brings its influence to bear to resolve the conflict.”

While Berlin officially opposed the NATO bombardment of Libya in 2011, it has been pushing more strongly into Africa since the foreign policy shift carried out in 2013-14. This has not only included German imperialism’s traditional spheres of influence during the colonial period, but also those of its historic rivals.

An article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung entitled “In the French sphere of influence” remarked in noticeably excited tones, “The European security mission in Mali […] is strongly characterised by German influence” and is taking place in a region “which was previously an exclusively French sphere of influence and area of interest.” Alongside the “terror threat” and the “pressure of economic migration …France’s declining security resources” had contributed to the destabilisation of countries on the southern border of the Sahara and “created new conditions.” Mali showed “[t]he answer the European Union is trying to give–with overwhelmingly German weight.”

The FAZ left no doubt that the German-European mission in Mali is only the prelude to a much broader process of recolonising the continent, which is rich in resources and has a large population. The intervention was spreading “also into Mali’s neighbours.” Four further states in the Sahel region–Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania–would be “incorporated into the military and civilian strengthening of their security forces.” The Eucap Sahel mission, which “was led by German diplomat Albrecht Conze,” was “preparing a much more energetic expansion into neighbouring countries.”

“Diplomats under the EU flag” were currently being sent “to the capital cities of the countries concerned to register their security deficits.” It would soon become clear “how many forces from European countries would be required to cover them.” Germany would “certainly then have to mobilise more forces.”

Therefore it was timely that “the German air force is in the process of building an air transportation base in the heart of the Sahel zone in Niamey, the capital of Niger.” €10 million had already been allocated for the coming year “to establish waiting rooms and permanently accommodate the German contingent.”

British political prisoner’s life threatened by Ethiopian dictatorship

This video says about itself:

Brave Young Girl Fights For Her Activist Father To Be Freed From Prison | Good Morning Britain

Broadcast on 2/06/2016

Menabe Andargachew wrote to the Prime Minister and the Queen to ask for more help in getting her father released from prison in Ethiopa, where he is being held on death row for criticising the government.

By Sofia Lotto Persio in Britain:

Government sued by daughter of man on Ethiopia‘s death row

Wednesday 7th September 2016

THE nine-year-old daughter of a British activist facing execution in Ethiopia is suing the British government for failing to press for her father’s release. Menabe Tsege’s case against the Foreign Office will be heard at the High Court in London today.

Her lawyers began judicial proceedings over ministers’ handling of the case of her father, Andargachew “Andy” Tsege, a British citizen and exiled leader of Ethiopian opposition movement Ginbot 7.

He was kidnapped in June 2014 while transiting through Yemen and illegally rendered to Ethiopia, where he had been sentenced to death at a trial in absentia in 2009.

According to the lawyers, the illegality of Mr Tsege’s kidnapping, detention and death sentence makes the British government’s stance unlawful.
The Foreign Office has not requested his release but has merely asked the Ethiopian government to allow him access to a lawyer.

International human rights organisation Reprieve warned that Mr Tsege has no chance of receiving a fair trial.

“It’s clear that Andy faces no prospect of due process in Ethiopia, as he’s already received an illegal in absentia death sentence which the Ethiopian government has confirmed he has no hope of appealing,” said Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at Reprieve.

“The British government must not allow Andy’s abuse to go on any longer. It must urgently call for his release, so that he can return to his family in London. ”During a visit to Ethiopia in June, then foreign secretary Philip Hammond said he had “received a commitment from the prime minister that Mr Tsege will be allowed access to independent legal advice,” but this promise has yet to be kept.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson published an open letter on August 26 pledging that the government would continue to request that Mr Tsege be allowed access to legal representation and seek to ensure that the death sentence is not carried out.

“Britain does not interfere in the legal systems of other countries by challenging convictions,” Mr Johnson added.

Ethiopian government lies on deathly prison fire

This video from the USA says about itself:

Huge protest in Washington DC against the Ethiopian regime

9 August 2016

Ethiopians in the United States staged a huge protest in the capital Washington DC. Protesters denounced the killing of peaceful protesters in Ethiopia by the regime forces and they extend unwavering solidarity to the Ethiopian people’s struggle for freedom.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Ethiopian government covered up extent of prison fire

Today, 20:51

A fire at a prison in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa was much more serious than the government at first wanted people to believe. There are 23 dead, and not one, as the government reported on Saturday.

The Kilinto prison is located in a suburb of the capital and also imprisons members of the opposition and journalists. The circumstances in which the fire broke out are unclear. The government says it has started an investigation.

A statement that was issued today states that 21 prisoners died from suffocation or that they were overrun. Two others were killed when they tried to escape, the government says. …

The government is accused of murder and mistreatment of opponents. Voices of Oromo and Amhara people, who constitute a majority of the population but feel disadvantaged, are heard more and more loudly.