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Operation Solomon: The Daring Rescue of the Ethiopian Jewsby Stephen Spector
Synopses & Reviews
"Operation Solomon" was one of the most remarkable rescue efforts in modern history, in which more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in little more than a day. Now, in this riveting volume, Stephen Spector offers the definitive account of this incredible story, based on over 200 interviews and exclusive access to confidential documents.
Written with the pace and immediacy of a novel, here is the dramatic story of the rescue of the dark-skinned Jews of Ethiopia. Spector recounts how 20,000 Jews were willingly lured from their ancestral villages to Addis Ababa, expecting to be taken quickly from there to the Holy Land. Instead, they became pawns in a struggle between the Israeli government and Ethiopia's repressive dictator, who tried to coerce Israel into selling him weapons he needed in a losing war against rebel armies. In the resulting stalemate, the Jewish community was forced to live for nearly a year in squalid hovels, vulnerable to the dangers of the city, including crime and HIV. Worse yet, the imminent collapse of Addis Ababa, with the rebels closing in on the capital, raised the threat of bloody street fighting or even a genocidal attack on the Jews, a small minority in a nation that is primarily Christian and Muslim. Spector describes the tense negotiations among Israelis, Ethiopians, and Americans, which became increasingly urgent as time ran low and the danger mounted. And he highlights the secret deals and sudden setbacks that nearly aborted the mission at the eleventh hour, even as Israeli jets sat on the runway in Ethiopia, waiting to take the Jews to the land for which they had yearned for generations.
Recounting the full story for the first time, Operation Solomon is a stirring account of a heroic rescue achieved in the face of daunting odds.
Book News Annotation:
With Israel's recent pledge to rescue the remaining 15,000 Ethiopian Jews by 2007, this account of the daring May 1991 airlift of 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to the promised land is timely. Drawing on interviews with Operation Solomon participants and confidential files, Spector (English, State U. of New York, Stony Brook) recounts their history, the secret negotiations to let this persecuted people go, and ongoing questions about their Jewish status as they adjust to life in Israel. He includes photos and emigration statistics.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Stephen Spector is Professor of English at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. A specialist in Christian religious literature, in Jewish and Christian perceptions of one another, and in anti-Semitism, he has been a Visiting Scholar at Hebrew University, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center, and Senior Research Fellow at Wesleyan University.
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» History and Social Science » Africa » Ethiopia