Shlomo Mula, MK-to-be
Yes, Shlomo Mula is #33 on the Kadima election slate. Even if Kadima slips in the polls as the March 28th vote nears, he’s in a high enough spot to likely be the second Ethiopian to serve in the Knesset.
What is the symbolism of Kadima announcing its list with Shlomo on board the day that Coretta Scott King passed away?
I remember Shlomo from around 1988, when D’vora Greisman–WUJS Ethiopian Jewry Coordinator–and I met with a distrusting group of Ethiopian students for a very late night session at Hebrew University. Shlomo stood out from many of them with his intensity. That night they formed the first Ethiopian Jewish Students Association, which worked with WUJS, and then Shlomo stood at the WUJS Congress for election for Oppressed Jewry Officer. He was up against Claudine Korall, who is now active from Paris in Kol Dor, and who had represented WUJS to some UNESCO events that were historic in having not only Jewish participation, but also representation from Israel via the National Union of Israeli Students.
Shlomo stole, in the best sense of the word, the election. “I walked 800 kilometers from Ethiopia to Sudan, ” he began his campaign speech to the Jewish students from dozens of countries.
Now he is heading to the Knesset.
Adissu Mesele was the first Ethiopian MK, under Labor.
Avraham Neguse, the former leader of South Wing to Zion advocacy group, is standing at the head of the Atid Echad party. Adissu may join a party as well, as the Feb. 7th deadline for filing nears.
The 17th Knesset may have three Ethiopian Israeli members, a historic possibility. Let’s hope so, given the powerlessness of the community within the Israeli establishment up until now. Israel would have to finally finish their Aliya, as promised. Israel would step up the educational and the absorption efforts, as promised.
For Abramowitz or Shlomo junkies, here’s the historic write up of Shlomo’s arrival on the world Jewish scene, from the WUJC archives.