Rabbonim and public figures are stepping up protests against
a trend at the Interior Ministry to grant citizenship to
thousands of foreign workers residing in Israel.
According to reports Deputy Interior Minister Ruchama Avrohom
handed out 22 identification cards to the children of 19
foreign families during a ceremony at the Interior Ministry,
saying, "This is just the beginning of an important process
of major significance." The decision to grant citizenship to
the children of the foreign workers was approved by former
Interior Minister Ofir Pines before his resignation.
After a child receives Israeli citizenship, the parents also
become eligible for citizenship. Thousands of foreign workers
could become eligible to receive citizenship, based on
criteria set by the government.
Rabbonim voiced stiff objections, calling the development a
breach in Kerem Yisroel that is liable to result in
widespread assimilation. Deputy Welfare Minister Rabbi
Avrohom Ravitz told Yated Ne'eman that the trend poses
a threat to the State of Israel since in time of need we
would be unable to control the thousands of foreigners
assimilated among us. The government's policy is the result
of bringing in thousands of foreign workers, taking jobs away
from Israelis who become unemployed. The desire to appear
liberal and humane could bring disaster upon the State of
Israel, turning it into a bi-national country thereby opening
the way to widespread assimilation when these non-Jews are
absorbed into Israeli society.
MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni told Yated Ne'eman this policy is
intended to undermine Israel's status as a Jewish nation and
called for a stop to this dangerous process whose outcome
nobody can foresee.