“Despite the enormous tragedy, we love the people of Israel”

“Despite the enormous tragedy, we love the people of Israel”

The Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Committee chaired by MK Oded Forer (Israel Beyteinu) held a discussion today (Monday) on MK Penina Tamano-Shata’s proposal. Tamano-Shata’s statement on the subject of the absorption and integration of the Bnei Menashe community from India, the phenomenon of racism from which its members suffered by the members of the community and how the government has been handling the case of the murder of the late Yoel Langhal.

Yoel Langhal z”l, 18 years old, was murdered in Kiryat Shmona on October 6, 2022, during the last Sukkot holiday.

Tovia, Yoel’s grandfather said, “The tribe of Bnei Menashe, despite the enormous tragedy, we love the entire people of Israel. The State of Israel should do all so that another murder of a member of the Menashe community does not happen again. My grandson studied Torah at a yeshiva and wanted to enlist in combat service in the IDF. Yoel’s whole family loves the State of Israel very much.”

MK Oded Forer of the Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Committee: “The murder of Yoel is difficult and shocking and we will not let up on the matter until we see that this open case gets the treatment it deserves.

“The Menashe people mark another stage in the vision of the return of Zion and the return of the Jews to their land. We will make tough demands on the government for the success of the absorption of Bnei Menasha into Israeli society. I feel ashamed that the State of Israel does not manages to properly absorb such a small community.”

There are currently 4,500 Bnei Menashe immigrants living in Israel, 500 of whom immigrated between 2017-2023 and half of them live in Nof Hagalil. The immigrants live in relatively “weak” authorities that receive support and encouragement from the state for the absorption of the Menashe. the immigrants experience severe absorption difficulties and most of them live in economic hardship, damage to parental authority, are employed in jobs with low wages.

MK Pnina Tamano-Shata, “Yoel was murdered with the involvement of dozens of young people. Yoel left behind a bequest to see his brothers and sisters from the tribe of Menashe who arrive in Israel with Zionism pulsating in their souls. But for far too many years they do not accept their place in Israeli society. We, as a country, cannot let this happen.  The people of Israel should apologize to the family and to the entire community. I turn from here to Yoel’s family and to all the sons of Menashe and say to you that you will not be alone. The police behaved in a criminal manner; the prosecutor’s office cannot let go of this case. We in the Knesset will do everything so that Yoel’s family gets the justice it deserves.”

Tzvi Khaute, representative of the Bnei Menashe in Shavei Israel: “In 2001, I was told here in the Knesset that I looked like a Thai or a Chinese but not like a Jew. Racism towards us also reached the Knesset. The correction towards the Bnei Menashe should start precisely from this house here in the Knesset. All the young people in the community serve in the IDF. We came across stories of Israeli parents who were not ready to put their children in kindergarten together with children of the community of Bnei Menashe. We in the community feel that we belong to the State of Israel and the Jewish people, therefore we forgive the racist and discriminatory treatment towards us.”

Former MK Moti Yogev, “This committee can put on the agenda the acquaintance of Israeli society with the Bnei Menashe community. The Bnei Menashe in Israel number about 4,500 people. This community does not receive equal treatment compared to other communities that immigrated to Israel. A follow-up committee should be established to monitor what is being done in the treatment of the Bnei Menashe immigration”

Edith Blaustein, CEO of  Shavei Israel said, “In addition to the community of Bnei Menashe who are already in Israel, there are 5,000 Bnei Menashe who are waiting to immigrate to Israel who live in India. Those people are waiting to be reunited with their families who are here in Israel , for a long time the State of Israel needs to produce quick solutions for their immigration to Israel.”

Hod Levy, head of the community department at the Israel Police: “Following Yoel’s murder, the Israel Police decided on a number of processes to improve familiarity and cooperation with the Bnei Menashe community. It is very important that the Israel Police get to know them in depth

The members of the community will appoint a representative who will be responsible for everything related to the care of the Bnei Menashe community. Future combination of the Bnei Menashe with the police service, it will do good both for the Bnei Menashe community and for the the Israel Police.

Article in Hebrew here