• Home
  • keyboard_arrow_right Israel News
  • keyboard_arrow_right 30 years on, Defense Ministry releases Operation Solomon footage – Watch

Israel News

30 years on, Defense Ministry releases Operation Solomon footage – Watch

CM 24/05/2021


Background
share close
Thirty years after Operation Solomon, in 1991 when close to 15,000 Ethiopian Jews were flown to Israel, the Defense Ministry has released rare footage of the operation that has sat in the IDF archives.
The video footage from the operation and recordings made by the elite Shaldag unit’s commander at the time, Benny Gantz, now the defense minister.
Israel Air Force personnel, including Shaldag commandos under Gantz’s command, who secured the Israeli planes used in the airlift, videotaped parts of the operation, which included preparations for takeoff, landing in Addis Ababa and the moment when Amnon Lipkin Shahak, at the time the deputy chief of staff who commanded the operation, announced that the first immigrants were at the airport and had begun boarding.Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)
The video material was recently found during a comprehensive digitization project in which tens of thousands of hours of IDF archive footage is being converted from video and film reels to more durable digital media for posterity.
The Defense Ministry also unveiled original planning documentation, details from the de-brief that followed, assessments of the processing of immigrants at the airport and their transfer to integration centers, and an intelligence briefing on then-Ethiopian president, Mengistu Haile Mariam, who fled abruptly to Zimbabwe after he was ousted, the catalyst for the launch of Operation Solomon.Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)
In recordings, Gantz can be heard talking about a number of operational challenges, including providing water, a woman who went into labor during the operation and various communications-related challenges. He concludes by saying that “during the operation there’s never time to waste, you’re working under constant pressure. But then, on the flight back home, you have a chance to watch the elderly and the children. You know the elderly are fulfilling a dream, and the children will need 30-40 years of integration, but afterwards it will be okay.” Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)
“After I returned and it was all over the news, my mother, who is a Holocaust survivor from Bergen-Belsen said to me, ‘are you aware of the honor this is?’ do you know what kind of honor this is?’ It’s not something that you think about during the operation and you realize that you were part of a historic event. The Ethiopian community can be expected to go through decades of difficult integration but we did the first 24 hours as best as we could.”Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)The release of these materials comes shortly after some 4,000 Ethiopian Jews who died on their journey to Israel were honored during the last official Jerusalem Day events., 
In March, the last flight of Operation Rock of Israel to bring the remainder of the Falash Mura community in Ethiopia landed in Israel.

Some 2,000 Falash Mura community members were brought to Israel in a number of flights that began last December.
Among the 2,000 new immigrants were 893 children including 70 babies aged under a year old.

Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)Diplomatic ties between Israel and Ethiopia were renewed in 1989 after a 16-year cut and Mengistu allowed several hundred Jews to immigrate to Israel each month as part of a family reunification program. At the beginning of 1991, the security situation in Ethiopia deteriorated as conflicts between the central government and Mengistu’s opponents intensified. With tensions increasing, there was growing concern for the fate of Ethiopia’s Jews and it was decided to evacuate them to Israel in a swift operation. Israel paid about $35 million to the Ethiopian government, including donations from American Jewry, for its consent to allow the Jews to be flown to Israel. The evacuation was named “Operation Solomon,” after King Solomon, who according to the bible, met the Queen of Sheba, who was thought to be from what is now Ethiopia, although some scholars say that she was actually from Yemen.Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)

Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)Rare pictures of Operation Solomon released by the Defense Ministry, May 2021. (Credit: Defense Ministry)Tobias Siegal, Jeremy Sharon and Carmit Sapir Weitz contributed to this report.

Source: Jerusalem Post

Rate it
Author

CM

The host of Coffee Mouth Scare Crow Show and CEO of 452 Impact, Inc. Here is food for thought. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." John 3:16 "For God so love ed the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall be saved."

list Archive

Background
Previous post

Post comments

This post currently has no comments.

Leave a reply