Government Adopts Amnesty Initiative for Ethiopian-Israelis Advanced by Ono Faculty and Students

On November 5, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked officially adopted an initiative advanced by the Law Faculty at Ono Academic College and journalist Gal Gabay, an Ono alumnus, to grant amnesty to Ethiopian immigrants to Israel.

The Ono faculty took on this important project after a classroom viewing and discussion about the film “The Immediate Suspect,” which presents shocking data on the high number of criminal cases and indictments against Ethiopian Israelis.  The film explains that most of the cases opened against minors and young adults of Ethiopian origin begin with excessive policing on trivial matters, such as a request to identify themselves, and quickly became violent, resulting in an arrest and a criminal investigation.

Immediately following the governmental decision, Gal insisted that we take action to spread the word throughout the Ethiopian community.  Every academic year, Ono selects 60 Ethiopian students to participate in a special fellowship program led by Adv. Zeev Kaso.  Ono’s Law Faculty recruited this year’s students and the 142 graduates of the program to return to their communities to spread the news and help minors and young adults fill in the necessary forms.

With students like these, it’s easy to see why Ono Academic College is actively changing the face of Israeli society.


Roni Zalmanovich