Sunday, January 19, 2020, Kan News published that after four decades, the Chief Rabbinate adopted the ruling of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef recognizing Ethiopian Jews from the Beta Israel as Halachically (according to Jewish Law) Jewish. The decision was made by the rabbinical council two and a half months ago. For unclear reasons, the decision remained secret until Kan News requested it be made public.
MK Ofir Sofer (Yamina) tweeted:
“I congratulate the Chief Rabbinate on the important decision to recognize the ruling of Rabbi Ovadia ZT”L regarding our brothers from the Beta Israel community”.
MK Yair Lapid (Blue and White) wrote:
“The Beta Israel community did not need to wait years for the Chief Rabbinate’s decision to recognize their Judaism. Judaism has been in their hearts for thousands of years. It is a very sour victory”.
MK Gadi Yevarkan (Likud):
“A miserable decision from the 1980s that caused enormous damage to the community (the Barkan winery affair, and more…) I promised the Kesses (Kahen), rabbis, and the public that I would not rest until this decision was overturned. […]We do not need confirmation of our Judaism from anyone. But it was important to fight for our good name and the attempt to question our identity. I entered politics to make an impact and work for my people and my amazing community“.
Minister of Interior Chairman of Shas MK Aryeh Deri:
“The Chief Rabbinate decided to reaffirm the ruling of our Rabbi and teacher Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ZT”L to recognize the Judaism of Immigrants from Ethiopia. Rabbi Baruch Gezhei, a candidate for the Knesset on the Shas list, went to the Rabbi’s grave and thanked him for the historic ruling and thanked his son the Rishon Letziyon, for the important decision. Dear people of Ethiopian descent, we will continue to stand on your right side and help you. We are brothers”.