Netanyahu pledges to counter racism against Ethiopians


JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a meeting with Ethiopian community leaders said he was committed to stopping racism.

“I asked for this meeting because I am committed to the Ethiopian immigrant public,” Netanyahu said at Wednesday’s meeting. “One of the things that I cannot tolerate is displays of racism.”

Netanyahu told the Ethiopian leaders — social activists and community religious leaders — about plans by his government to help the Ethiopian community’s integration into Israeli society.

The government’s five-year plan, according to the Prime Minister’s Office, includes assistance in schools to boost achievements; promoting higher education and preventing dropouts; employment assistance and efforts to assist Ethiopian soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces; and grants to assist in finding housing for those leaving absorption centers.

The plan also includes the establishment of youth centers for Ethiopians and a move to memorialize those who died in Sudan as they tried to reach Israel.

Netanyahu promised there would be more meetings with Ethiopian leaders.