Fearing that within the next 20 years Israeli Arabs will outnumber Israeli Jews in the Galilee and the Negev, the board of the United Jewish Communities will be asked to approve a $200 million emergency program over five years to settle 300,000 Jews in both regions in the next decade.
The New York Jewish community is preparing to resettle "hundreds" of ethnic Albanian refugees here in coming weeks and to raise an estimated $200 to $600 for each refugee to supplement government grants, The Jewish Week has learned.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's goal of attracting another 1 million Jewish immigrants in the next 10 years will suffer a setback if pending legislation to tax foreign investment income and pensions of immigrants is approved by the Knesset in the next two weeks, according to Yuli Edelstein, deputy minister of immigrant absorption.
"It would be terrible," Edelstein said during a visit to New York this week.
Apparently bowing to pressure, the government of Israel announced Sunday that it would resume checking 3,000 Ethiopian Falash Mura who claim they are entitled to make aliyah.
The action came after the government announced earlier this year that it would no longer carry out the mass immigration of Ethiopian Falash Mura, whose descendants had been forced to convert from Judaism.
A total of 90 Jews from war-ravaged Georgia have made aliyah in the last two weeks and as many as 100 others will be arriving in the next two weeks, according to an official of the Jewish Agency.
In addition, another 50 Jewish children ages 13 to 16 will be leaving Georgia for Israel at the beginning of September for 10 days of camp.
There’s something about the immigration debate that arouses the passionate intensity of the worst among us, making otherwise smart people stupid and spawning demagogues like no other issue (“Jewish Groups Mostly Mute Over Immigrant Bashing,” James D. Besser, Dec. 21).
Jewish community traditionally at the forefront of immigrant rights efforts has gone strangely mute as politicians fan public fury over illegal immigration. This week there were signs that is changing; the Anti-Defamation League issued a warning to the 2008 presidential candidates to cool their white-hot rhetoric on the issue.
But the ADL has been a lone voice; some critics say the timorous Jewish response is not commensurate with an anti-immigrant surge that could ultimately hurt all minorities – Jews included.