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400 Jews of France arrive at Ben Gurion Airport as Israel’s new immigrants despite war with Gaza

By Mason White 1:20 PM July 16, 2014
New Israeli immigrants illustration 

By: Sanvi Rizvi
Thousands of French Jews continue to make their way to Israel, as anti-Jewish violence spirals out of control back home, the Government of Israel said in a statement.

The Knesset State Control Committee on Monday, called on the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption to relax its criteria for governmental support and allow each Aliyah organization to receive support according to the number of new immigrants they are assisting, even if that number is low.

”Every immigrant is a world. The successful absorption of a family is 100 percent success. Anti-Semitism can awaken at any time in any country, such as France, as can extreme instability, like in Ukraine – and the country must be prepared to absorb diaspora Jews quickly,” Committee Chairman Amnon Cohen said.

MK Yoni Chetboun said that the resilience of Israeli society is a result of Aliyah. He said some 6,000 French Jews are expected to make Aliyah from France over the course of the year, ”but between 2005 and 2012, the Absorption Ministry preferred to invest 95% of its support money in encouraging Aliyah from the U.S. and Britain rather than France. No Aliyah can be taken for granted, and we cannot say `they are making Aliyah anyway, so why invest money in it,` because the main goal is successful absorption and continued assistance for new immigrants.”

Minister of Immigration and Absorption Sofa Landver noted that 475 olim have arrived in Israel since the launch of Operation Protective Edge. Some of the immigrants have settled in the south. ”We have not received one complaint from them,” Landver said.

On Wednesday another 400 olim from France arrived. The Nefesh B`Nefesh organization is doing a great job, and the decision to make Aliyah from the U.S. is difficult, but we will support any organization that works to bring Jews to Israel.

“Soon, we will launch a publicity campaign in towns in France`s periphery, and we will introduce to the Jews of those communities the various housing, employment and educational options they will have in Israel,” Landver said.

The number of olim from France has increased significantly over the past few years from 1,900 a year to about 5,000.