“The public understands that there is a need for a constitutional fence in the form of the Law of Return against this new infiltration.”
By World Israel News staff.
The Israeli Immigration Policy Centre has called for tighter controls on non-Jews immigrating to Israel after a survey found that two thirds of Jewish Israelis were concerned about the impact immigration is having on the Jewish nature of the state.
The survey, carried out by the Smith Institute on behalf of the Israeli Immigration Policy Center, found that nearly two in three (63%) respondents only supported non-Jews making Aliyah if they qualified to do so under the law of return, while just 24% supported the same on the grounds of family reunification.
The Center commissioned the survey in response to the government’s recent decision to allow an estimated 3,000 Ethiopians to join relatives in Israel. Although many are practicing Jews, Israel does not consider them Jewish under religious law. Consequently they will be making Aliyah under a family unification program which requires government consent.
The survey’s 500 Jewish Israeli respondents were also quizzed on their views on Ethiopian immigration, Israel Hayom reported.
Some 140,00 Ethiopian Jews currently live in Israel, with community leaders estimating that there are a further 6,000 still in Ethiopia. The Israeli government committed to relocating all Ethiopian Jews in 2015, but community leaders have accused the authorities of dragging their feet on the matter.
Conversely, officials determined in the early 2000s that there are no Jews left in Ethiopia, and only 2% of immigrants from the country who arrived between 2013 and 2019 were registered as Jewish by the Interior Ministry.
Given these figures, a majority of respondents, between 52-58%, oppose Aliyah on the basis of family reunification; 27-28% supported it, and 20% are undecided.
“The security fence that stopped the illegal migration from Africa has been broken wide open,” the Israeli Immigration Policy Center said in a statement, according to Israel Hayom.
The statement continued: “The Jewish Agency and the government ministries have simply opened a detour and continue to bring tens of thousands of non-Jews to Israel, even though time and again it is proven that they have only the most tenuous links to Judaism.
“The public understands that there is a need for a constitutional fence in the form of the Law of Return against this new infiltration, which is taking place under the auspices of the authorities’ helplessness and on the basis of family reunification,” the Center concluded.