The Dramatic Rescue of Ethiopian Jews
Stand for Israel | July 25, 2019
There are so many stories of heroism over the history of Israel and her people, and it is always great to see the mainstream media acknowledge them. One of these, Jewish Journal’s Gerri Miller tells us, is Netflix’s upcoming film, The Red Sea Diving Resort, which tells the Ethiopian Jewish history story of how the Mossad secretly rescued Ethiopian Jews from famine and violence:
There are upwards of 130,000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel today, most of them refugees or their descendants, brought there in a series of covert rescue missions in the 1980s and 1990s. Fleeing famine, civil war and murderous rebels in Ethiopia, these “Beta Israel” Africans crossed into Sudan in the hope of immigrating to Israel under the Jewish Law of Return. But thousands died of illness, starvation or were killed in refugee camps in the custody of the hostile Sudanese military regime.
The Mossad (Israeli Intelligence) came up with an ingenious plan that involved leasing a strategically located abandoned seaside hotel as a front and staging area. Undercover agents ran it by day and evacuated the Ethiopians at night. The riveting story of the “Operation Brothers” missions plays out in the Ethiopian Jewish history movie, “The Red Sea Diving Resort,” premiering on Netflix July 31.
Writer-director-producer Gideon Raff (“Prisoners of War,” “Homeland,” “Dig,” “Tyrant”) was immediately intrigued when he heard about the mission, only recently declassified. “I knew it had the potential to be a very entertaining and uplifting movie that could reach a lot of people,” he said. “It’s a great message. This Ethiopian Jewish history story of the Jewish Diaspora is really relevant for our times. The idea of these two very different communities coming together touched me in a big way. The Ethiopians were as active in their own rescue as the Mossad was. This is about a crazy, almost impossible mission that went right…”