Israel has been accepting Ukrainian refugees, the vast majority of whom are not Jewish, at unsustainable rates, and steps must be taken to curb the influx, Shaked said.
By World Israel News Staff
Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Kornichuk announced that he will petition Israel’s High Court on behalf of the Ukrainian Embassy against the policies of the Israeli government and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked in particular, Israel’s N12 reported Saturday.
Earlier this week, Shaked said that Israel would host 25,000 non-Jewish Ukrainian citizens “temporarily until the danger subsides.”
In the first stage, Israel will grant temporary protection to approximately 20,000 Ukrainian citizens who were already in Israel before the Russian invasion, most of them illegally, Shaked said.
“Tonight I filed a petition in the High Court against Ayelet Shaked’s decision to prevent the entry of Ukrainian refugees starting tonight, including a request for an order prohibiting the entry into force of the decision,” attorney Tomer Warsaw, who is representing the Ukrainian Embassy, told N12.
“We found that not only was this a violation of international obligations, but that the minister was not authorized to decide as she did — it should have been a government decision or at least in consultation with the Knesset Interior Committee.”
Shaked is also getting criticism at home. Dozens of people demonstrated outside her home on Saturday night, shouting “Jews do not deport refugees.”
Hundreds protested outside government offices in Tel Aviv with the same message. Crying “Shame!” on Shaked and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
“In the face of the horrific war in Ukraine, the discussion here about some quotas for refugees is shamefully petty,” Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz of the left-wing Meretz party said.
“Israel must, by its very nature and as part of the great effort of Western countries, reach out to refugees and persecuted people whose world has been destroyed. Meretz will insist on that,” he added.
Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai also criticized Shaked’s conduct at NBC’s “Meet the Press” studio, saying: “I will demand at the next cabinet meeting that there be a ministerial committee that decides what Israel’s refugee absorption policy is.”
According to Shai, “It cannot remain in the hands of one minister. The face of the State of Israel is on the agenda.”
Shaked responded, saying, “It would be better for Nachman Shai as Israel’s Diaspora minister to perform his job and not preach to others. Thousands of those entitled to the Law of Return are waiting to come to Israel.”
Ukrainians fleeing the war who have a Jewish background, along with their families, may come to Israel and receive full citizenship.