Tsega Melaku (Hebrew : צֶגָה מֶלָקוּ; born 1968) is an Israeli author, journalist, and community activist. She is the former director of Kol Yisrael's Reshet Aleph ("Network A") radio station. Before her disqualification from running in Israel's March 2015 election with the Kulanu party, it was expected she could become a Member of the Knesset.
Melaku was born in Gondar, Ethiopia, and left her family in her native Ethiopia to emigrate to Israel in 1984 at the age of 16. She recalls that her first defense of her rights in Israel was to insist on keeping her first name, instead of adopting the Hebraicized "Oshra", a name given to her on her arrival. "When we arrived in Jerusalem, we thought that the people would greet us with open arms", she remembers. "But when we got here, everyone looked at us suspiciously and did not believe that we were really Jewish. I was shocked too, because I had never seen white Jews before. It was ironic really because they thought that we were the ones who weren't Jewish."
She attended Bar Ilan University, where she earned a BA in Political Science and Sociology. Then, while studying at Touro College in Jerusalem for her MA in business, she was one of the first Keren Hanan Aynor scholarship recipients.
In 2008, when she was appointed to the position as director of the radio station Reshet Alef in 2008, she became the first woman and the first Ethiopian immigrant to hold that role. She described her goals for the station as breaking down "the elitist approach to culture in this country and make sure that everyone can get his say, not just those who are from Tel Aviv. I want everyone to be able to hold the microphone and speak out about issues."She is the manager and a presenter for an Amharic language radio show on Israel Radio’s Reka station. She has had a profound impact on the Ethiopian community, according to Len Lyons: "Under her direction, Amharic radio for the Ethiopian Israeli community has become an essential resource for education and social awareness.
She is a community activist in Israel's Ethiopian community. She was active in protests against Magen David Adom's policy on Ethiopian blood donations. A scandal ensued when it was revealed that blood from Ethiopians was thrown away out of fears it would contain HIV. Israel's Ethiopian community of over 100,000 people is grappling with profound economic challenges. A study completed in 2012 determined that Ethiopian immigrants constitute the worst-paid population in Israel. Ethiopian immigrants earn 30-40 percent less than Arabs in Israel.
Melaku works on behalf of several non-profit organizations that promote higher education for Ethiopian immigrants.
When he announced her candidacy for the Knesset, Moshe Kahlon, the Kulanu party leader, called her a woman of "fortitude and strong will".Melaku articulated her reasons for embracing a political career, which include the corruption and racism she has witnessed: "Until today, everywhere I go, one question follows me: 'Miss, I need my house cleaned twice a week. Are you free for cleaning?'", Melaku said. "Today, I say, 'Yes, I'm free to clean up. Not houses, but corruption. I'm ready to clean up opacity, to clean up seeing others as inferior because of their name, their accent, their skin colour."
After Melaku's candidacy was announced, Judge Salim Joubran, Chairman of the Central Election Committee, ruled that as a former broadcaster for the Reshet Aleph radio, Melaku would be disqualified from candidacy in the upcoming elections because she did not complete the 100-day "cooling-off" period since leaving her broadcasting job.The party disagreed with the decision, noting that her position as a manager was not a senior appointment and that the hiatus regulation should therefore not apply.
In February 2016, the Israeli Justice Ministry announced that the Israeli government had formed a new inter-ministerial task force to examine racism against Ethiopian-Israelis. The purpose is to create effective tools and methods to combat discrimination. There are three sub-teams within the task force, and Melaku will lead the one focused on raising public awareness of racism and enhancing the visibility of Ethiopian-Israeli Jews in the public sphere.
Melaku is the author of the book Not in Our School, which documents the racism she faced in her effort to have her children attend a better school.
Baruch Meir Marzel is an Israeli politician and activist. He is an Orthodox Jew originally from Boston who now lives in the Jewish community of Hebron in Tel Rumeida with his wife and nine children. He was the leader of the far-right-oriented Jewish National Front party. He is now a member of Otzma Yehudit. He was the "right-hand man" of assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane, acting as spokesman for the American rabbi's Kach organization for ten years. The mainstream Israeli press has described him as an "extreme right-wing activist".
Kol Yisrael or Kol Israel is Israel's public domestic and international radio service. It operated as a division under the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) until 14 May 2017, and from then under the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation.
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Israel Radio International or Reka is the radio service of the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) for immigrants and listeners abroad.
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Yona Bogale was an Ethiopian Jewish educator and public figure, who served as the director of the Beta Israel education network in Ethiopia and worked vigorously for the immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel. He led the efforts to improve the living conditions of the Beta Israel in Ethiopia by expanding education, providing medical facilities, increasing agricultural production and promoting religious freedom. His persistence in the face of opposition enabled many thousands of his people to fulfill their lifelong dream of Aliyah, or return to the homeland of Israel.
Racism in Israel encompasses all forms and manifestations of racism experienced in Israel, irrespective of the colour or creed of the perpetrator and victim, or their citizenship, residency, or visitor status.
Ayala Procaccia is a retired Israeli Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel. Before being elected to the Supreme Court in 2001, she served as a judge in the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court until 1993 and in the Jerusalem District Court from 1993 to 2001. While active in the Israeli law courts, Ayala Procaccia worked to change Israeli law to champion equality for all, regardless of gender or religion.
Ethiopian Jews in Israel are immigrants and descendants of the immigrants from the Beta Israel communities in Ethiopia who now reside in Israel. To a lesser, but notable, extent, the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel is also composed of Falash Mura, a community of Beta Israel which had converted to Christianity over the course of the past two centuries, but were permitted to immigrate to Israel upon returning to Israelite religion - this time largely to Rabbinic Judaism.
Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, informally known as the Nation-State Bill or the Nationality Bill, is an Israeli Basic Law which specifies the nature of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. The law was passed by the Knesset—with 62 in favour, 55 against, and two abstentions—on 19 July 2018, and is largely symbolic and declarative in nature. However, it was met with sharp criticism internationally, including from several prominent Jewish American organizations.
Early elections for the twentieth Knesset were held in Israel on 17 March 2015. Disagreements within the governing coalition, particularly over the budget and a "Jewish state" proposal, led to the dissolution of the government in December 2014. The Labor Party and Hatnuah formed a coalition, called Zionist Union, with the hope of defeating the Likud party, which had led the previous governing coalition along with Yisrael Beiteinu, Yesh Atid, The Jewish Home, and Hatnuah.
Yityish "Titi" Aynaw is an Israeli model, television personality, and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Israel 2013. She is the first Ethiopian Jew and black Israeli to win the contest. As Miss Israel, Aynaw represented Israel at the Miss Universe 2013 competition, although she did not place.
Rachel Azaria, is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Kulanu. She previously served as deputy mayor and member of the Jerusalem City Council.
Kulanu was a centrist political party in Israel founded by Moshe Kahlon that focused on economic and cost-of-living issues.
Eli Alaluf is an Israeli politician. Formerly a senior bureaucrat for the Israeli government and Israeli NGOs, he currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Kulanu.
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Hanan Aynor was an Israeli diplomat, who in 1960s-1980s served as Israel's ambassador to Senegal, Ethiopia, Mexico and Zaire.
Asher Naim was an Israeli diplomat who served in Israeli missions to the United States, Finland, Ethiopia, United Nations, and South Korea. Naim was Israel's ambassador to Ethiopia from 1990 to 1991 and played a crucial role in the 1991 Operation Solomon which airlifted around 14,200 Ethiopian Jews to Israel in a single day.
Nigist Mengesha is an Ethiopian-Israeli community activist and social worker known for her efforts on behalf of Ethiopian Jews in Israel.