Interior Ministry Says 70 percent of Immigrants from
Former Soviet Union are not Jewish!
by Betzalel Kahn
According to a representative survey conducted by the
Interior Ministry, a full 70 percent of immigrants who
arrived from the former Soviet Union last year under the Law
of Return are not Jewish, compared to a figure of 50 percent
in other recent years. The figures refer to the declarations
of the immigrants themselves and do not take into account
that some of those who represent themselves as Jewish may not
be so according to halachah.
The results of the survey were published in that Israeli
national daily Yediot Achronot, which noted that
Carmiel, for instance, has absorbed 208 Jewish immigrants
since the beginning of the year, compared to 431 non-Jews.
These figures do not include residents of the former Soviet
Union who are currently in the process of applying for
Israeli citizenship after having married Jews or non-Jews who
are eligible for aliya. All of these spouses are obviously
The Interior Ministry says that Carmiel reflects the general
population of the entire country since the city is considered
one of the major centers for the absorption of immigrants.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai is seeking to amend the Law of
Return in order to significantly reduce the number of non-
Jews who are eligible to immigrate to Israel and to receive
various financial benefits. Yishai has asked other government
ministers to assist him in the amendment procedure.