(December 20, 2018 / JNS) A special team comprised of Israeli government leaders is being put together to prepare for the absorption of tens of thousands of French Jews, who are growing increasingly concerned following attacks against Jews in the country and over the rise of anti-Israeli Islamic streams in France.
“Every Jew in France should know, as should Jews anywhere in the world, the State of Israel awaits them with open arms,” Diaspora Affairs and Education Minister Naftali Bennett said in statement.
He is spearheading the committee, which will submit a plan to the cabinet on Sunday, in partnership with National Economic Council chairman Avi Simhon.
The team will be comprised by representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Immigration and Absorption, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Services, the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.
It will include Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently Israel’s Minister of Absorption, as well as Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin, the prime minister’s chief of staff Yoav Horowitz and NEC head Avi Simhon.
At last Sunday’s cabinet meeting, Bennett told Netanyahu that new data shows 43 percent of French Jews have expressed an interest in making aliyah—approximately 200,000 people.
“These are ethical people, Zionists, lovers of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and it is our moral duty to help them,” he said at the meeting.
Netanyahu responded by charging Bennett with establishing the team to help them and encourage them to move to Israel.