Last year, Rabbi Dr. Sharon Shalom, Director of Ono Academic College’s International Center for the Study of Ethiopian Jewry reflected on the protests launched by Ethiopian-Israelis following the shooting of an Ethiopian youth, Solomon Teka, by a police officer.  Rabbi Sharon wrote:

The events of the last few days have left me shocked.  The situation recalls that described in the Torah when Aaron the High Priest was bereaved of two of his sons and could only respond with pained silence.

We need to remember.  The police and the state are not racist, but individuals within the system are racist and brainwashed, with a light finger on the trigger. Unfortunately, social policy in Israel is based on the perception of elites against the rest, not just against members of the Ethiopian-Israeli community. The feeling in the field is that those who have reached positions of power and influence can use their power as they see fit with no check on their excesses . . .

Brothers! Do not despair. Do not make the country our enemy. No one can in society can declare “our hands have not shed this blood,” (as did Israelite elders in the Egla Arufa ceremony following the discovery of a dead body outside of a city’s limits, described in the bible).  On the other hand, we cannot allow a discourse of fear to take over our wonderful community. Our ancestors’ dream of returning to the Holy Land came true after 2,500 years. Now we are in the land of Israel, which is a great miracle. So, my brothers, don’t let racists weaken us and leave us without words. It is within our power to turn the terrible wound we have suffered into a source of great light.

A full article and a Hebrew-language video of Rabbi Sharon’s addressing the protests can be found at,7340,L-5542442,00.html