12/02/2022, 21.24
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Ukraine war doubles Jewish immigration to Israel

The number reached 70,000 in 2022, double last year’s. Some 54 per cent comes from Russia, up 400 per cent over 2021; Ukraine follows with 21 per cent; and 5 per cent from the United States. This wave of migration and the Law of Return continue to fuel the debate over the country’s Jewish identity.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – The number of Jewish migrants who made aliyah to Israel doubled in 2022, above all because of Russia's war against Ukraine that has given a new impetus to the “return” to the “homeland”.

“The number of immigrants to Israel in 2022 has reached some 70,000, which is double the number of immigrants the country hosted last year," an Israeli report read,

The study pointed out that the “majority of the Jewish immigrants were fleeing the escalating war in Ukraine,” adding that the immigrants were also "exploiting the Israeli government's efforts to bring home all Jews in warring countries.”

“Fifty-four per cent of the immigrants this year arrived from Russia, 21 per cent arrived from Ukraine, 5 per cent from the United States, and 4 per cent from France," the report read.

It notes that 22,000 of the Jewish immigrants were "recruited by the Israeli army over the last decade, 15,000 of whom had no families."

Over the same period, the Israeli army received a total of 6,440 doctors and 22,400 engineers, most of whom came from the former Soviet Union, according to official data.

In 2022, some 33,000 Russians made aliyah, under Israel’s Law of Return, more than 400 per cent increase over last year, a trend likely to continue as long as the conflict continues.

Refugees from Russia and Ukraine in particular are an issue in Israel, and not just about numbers. Already in the past, the "Who is a Jew” has torn Israel.

The controversial Law of Return grants Jews Israeli citizenship if they have one Jewish grandparent; however, this leaves unresolved the issue of mixed couples who, in theory, have every right to return. In fact, in the 1990s, many of the Russian immigrants were actually Christians more or less hiding in the plain view.

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