Israel approves $46 million plan to absorb Jewish immigration

Plan that would aid in absorbing thousands of European Jews in Israel okayed by cabinet.

By  Feb. 15, 2015
Weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. Photo by AP

The cabinet approved a special NIS 180 million ($46 million) budget on Sunday to finance the costs of absorbing thousands of new immigrants expected to arrive in Israel this year from Ukraine, France and Belgium.

“We are telling our Jewish brothers and sisters that Israel is your home,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during the cabinet meeting. “We are bracing ourselves and calling for a mass immigration from Europe.”

Under the Law of Return, all Jewish immigrants to Israel are entitled to a package of financial benefits. The government expects the sharp upward trend evident in immigration from Ukraine, France and Belgium last year to strengthen even further in the coming year. In Ukraine, this increase has been attributed to the political turmoil in the country, while in France and Belgium, it has been associated with a combination of rising anti-Semitism and a weak economy….



Yemen’s last Jews eye exodus after Islamist militia takeover

SANAA (Reuters) – A few worried families are all that remain of Yemen’s ancient Jewish community, and they too may soon flee after a Shi’ite Muslim militia seized power in the strife-torn country this month.

Harassment by the Houthi movement – whose motto is “Death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam” – caused Jews in recent years to largely quit the northern highlands they shared with Yemen’s Shi’ites for millennia.

But political feuds in which the Jews played no part escalated last September into an armed Houthi plunge into the capital Sanaa, the community’s main refuge from which some now contemplate a final exodus.

Around six Yemeni Jews from the same family arrived in Israel on Friday, members of the community told Reuters.

“Since last September, our movements have become very limited for fear of the security situation, and there are some members of the community who preferred to leave Yemen,” sighed chief rabbi Yahya Youssef, sitting in his apartment within a walled compound next to ministry of defense.

Jewish rabbi Yahya Youssef Moussa, listens during an interview with Reuters in Sanaa in this August 16, 2009 file photo. (Reuters)J

ewish rabbi Yahya Youssef Moussa, listens during an interview with Reuters in Sanaa in this August 16, 2009 file …Dressed in the traditional Yemeni flowing robe, blazer and headwrap, Rabbi Yahya’s lined face is framed by two long curls on each side. Along with Hebrew he and his co-religionists speak Arabic, value local customs and are wary of life beyond home.

“We don’t want to leave. If we wanted to, we would have done so a long time ago,” Yahya said as his infirmed old father rested in the sun outside their home.

Jews evacuated from the Houthi stronghold of Saada province in 2009 to the government-guarded compound have dwindled from 76 to 45. A group of 26 others live in a city north of the capital….


*   *   *

“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone.

I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.

 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.”

Aliyah!  (Ezekiel 37:31-32, NIV)

Still watching …

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