President Katsav speaks out about Ethiopian immigration
Photo: Gil Yochanan
Israel may have been wrong to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel, President Moshe Katsav said Sunday in an unusually candid comment.
"At times I feel we did an injustice to the Ethiopian population by bringing them to the country," the president said after being presented with recommendations for fighting violence within society.
Katsav's remarks came after the Ministry of Absorption released data showing that during 2005 there was a drop of 11 percent in crimes involving youths of Ethiopian descent and a 10 percent drop in crime involving youths from the former Soviet Union.
The president also criticized the lack of appropriate care for youths who emigrated from Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, the ministerial anti-violence committee approved a subcommittee's recommendations to fight violence. The committee convened 10 times and presented its interim recommendations. In the framework of the recommendations, an experiment will be undertaken in six towns in Israel.
The main principles of the plan are as follows: Coordinating government activities on the subject of violence in local municipalities;
establishing steering committees led by mayors to coordinate activities and resources in fighting violence, while defining objectives and means to fight violence; broadening the authority given to municipal inspectors; and establishing a task force combined of police officers and municipal inspectors.