More than a hundred Vietnamese refugees arrived in Israel on Wednesday (24 January) to start a new life.
GV Vietnamese refugees climb out of plane at Ben Gurion airport
LV Refugees being greeted, carrying Israeli flags
GV & SV Crowds gathered carrying banners welcoming refugees
SCU Refugees in airport lounge (5 shots)
SCU Street sign in Hebrew ZOOM OUT TO GV absorbtion centre
SV INT Clothing and blankets piled up in absorbtion centre (2 shots)
SV Kitchen and food (2 shots)
SV PAN Bedroom
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Background: More than a hundred Vietnamese refugees arrived in Israel on Wednesday (24 January) to start a new life. The Israeli cabinet decided to accept the group two weeks ago as an example to other countries. When the decision was announced the cabinet referred to the shiploads of German Jews who searched the world in the 1940s for a port of entry to escape Nazi persecution.
SYNOPSIS: The refugees arrived at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport on a special E1 A1 flight that had brought them, via Athens, from the Philippines. They came from the refugee ship Tung An which arrived in Manila Bay with 2,000 Vietnamese on board. Peace campaigners in Israel had been trying to persuade the government to accept 400 of the boat people but had to be satisfied with the Jerusalem government's compromise.
Crowds of Israelis turned out to welcome the Vietnamese to their new homeland and the Minister of Absorbtion, David Levy, made a speech of welcome in French.
The boat people went through all the normal airport formalities before being taken to the northern Israeli town of Afula where 1,000 local schoolchildren were waiting to greet their new neighbours.
Some of the Vietnamese have already been offered jobs and local families have volunteered to adopt the new arrivals. Members of a group of sixty six refugees, who have been in Israel since last summer when they were picket up at sea, will also help new residents to get used to their surroundings. The boat people will live, initially, in this absorbtion centre until they find jobs and homes of their own.
Each family has been assigned a modestly-furnished apartment and they found the kitchens already well stocked with food. Local residents had also got together to provide cakes, fruit and confectionery for the newcomers.