Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Elul 5764 - August 25, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Poraz Allows Non-Jewish Children to Immigrate If Either Parent is Jewish
by G. Lazer

The State of Israel is opening its gates to non-Jewish children through a regulation Interior Minister Avraham Poraz is formulating. Recently Poraz decided to allow children officially defined as non-Jewish to immigrate if one of their parents already residing in Israel married a Jewish spouse.

Previously non-Jewish children were not even permitted to visit their parents in Israel because of Interior Ministry concerns they would stay in Israel, compromising the country's Jewish character. According to the Ministry's directive, which took effect over a decade ago at the beginning of the large wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union, any Jew who immigrated to Israel through marriage to a Jew could not bring his children from previous marriages into the country even for visits. Due to strict enforcement of the directive, parents were forced to fly to their respective countries of origin to meet with their children.

Minister Poraz' revolutionary proposal effectively bypasses the citizenship law, which permits non-Jewish spouses to secure legal status in Israel through familial ties to a Jew. According to predictions if Poraz' proposal goes into effect hundreds of children waiting abroad would receive resident status.

Previously Poraz submitted a similar proposal to the Interministerial Committee for Population Administration, but the proposal was rejected. Now he is setting forth the same proposition as a regulation that would obligate Interior Ministry officials. This sends a clear message to Ministry workers: "Those who submit requests to me will be allowed to bring their children to Israel immediately and I will grant them residency, even if the officials say no. It must be kept in mind that these officials have lived under religious and chareidi ministers for decades."

Since 1989 approximately one million immigrants have come from the former Soviet Union, of which some 300,000 said openly that they are not Jewish. According to reliable estimates the true amount of non-Jews could be double this amount.

The new regulation joins a number of policy changes Poraz introduced into the Interior Ministry, including granting legal status to the children of illegal foreign workers and permanent resident status to the parents of a soldier who completes at least one year of compulsory military service, even if he is not Jewish.

In response to Minister Poraz' new initiative MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni told Yated Ne'eman, "Whoever is in need of further proof that Shinui [representatives] are unfit to rule and lead has now received another reminder of this. Poraz and his party cohorts provide additional proof week by week of why they cannot remain in a position of influence in the country. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would do well to have them out of the government. Poraz and his colleagues attach no value to any issue in Judaism and their only goal is to transform the State of Israel into a state `like all of the nations' without leaving it with any vestige or spark of Judaism."

Shas Chairman Eli Yishai also attacked the decision by the Interior Minister, referring to him as "Assimilation Minister Poraz": "The Interior Minister is acting counter to the citizenship law and he is a criminal [out to destroy] Jewish identity."

Yishai said he would send a letter to Attorney General Mani Mazuz. "It will go down as inhumane in the history of the Jewish people to leave Poraz in office for even another moment," said Yishai. "Shas will do all it can to halt the repeated attempts to implement the disengagement of Poraz from our roots. Someone like Poraz who renounces his past has no future."

Yishai, who formerly served as Interior Minister, said, "Sweeping decisions such as these cause damage that will take decades to repair."

In response Interior Minister Avraham Poraz said, "Yishai's remarks show how dangerous it would be for Israel if Shas returns to power because then, rather than being an open, humanistic state, this will be a dark state where the Jews are the Chosen People and others have no place . . . Yishai's verbal attacks have long since failed to impress me. He has already called me Antiochus and Haman the Wicked. On almost every occasion he compares me to one of the enemies [of the Jewish people]."

Welfare Minister Zevulun Orlev also attacked Poraz' decision to allow non-Jewish children from the former Soviet Union to immigrate to Israel and receive residency, saying he objects to any changes in the Right of Return. "Israel is a Jewish state and not a state of all the citizens of the world and this is a threat against its character as a Jewish state."


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