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Ethiopian Immigrants and the Perception of Media

Shula Mola

Abstract The Jewish Ethiopian community in Israel suffers from severe economic, social, and cultural inequality. As a result, the community enjoys far lower connectivity levels than does the majority of the population. This chapter explores the potential role information and communications technologies (ICTs) may serve in bettering the lives of the Ethiopian immigrants as seen through their eyes. We focus on Ethiopian immigrant activists’ perceptions of the role technology can potentially play in their lives to demonstrate why there is a need to create an inclusive communications policy that will ensure access to marginalized groups and grant them a set of capabilities that will help them utilize the potentials of new media.

Keywords Ethiopian Jews • Falash Mura • Israel • Immigration • New media

There is perhaps no group among Jewish immigrant groups in Israel whose integration into society has been more tumultuous than that of the Ethiopian Jews. It is irrefutable that the Jewish Ethiopian community in Israel is one of those suffering the severest economic, social, and cultural

S. Mola

Department of Communication Studies,

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Amit M. Schejter, N. Tirosh, A Justice-Based Approach for New Media

Policy, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-41510-9_6

inequality and, as a result, a large digital gap from the majority of the population (King, Fischman, & Wolde-Tsadick, 2012). Indeed, one of the results of this situation is that the Ethiopian community as a whole is having difficulties taking part in the Israeli social and political arena and is practically alienated from it.

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