MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu), chairman of the Knesset Committee on Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, claimed Monday that “the government has abandoned the Jewish community in Russia.” Forer, a member of the opposition, asserted that not only did the administration do nothing to deal with the catastrophic events in Russia over the weekend, other than cancel special aid and subsidies applicable to Russian immigrants. According to official government figures, there are 13,000 Jewish families in Russia or descendants of Jews in Russia seeking to settle in Israel.
On Friday, Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group forces withdrew from Ukraine and seized the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don in an armed uprising against Moscow. On Saturday, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus intervened to end the uprising. An official from the Ministry of Aliyah and Absorption told a committee meeting that the situation in Russia “has not worsened over the past month”, and that as a result, “there is no is not necessary” to provide the Jews of these countries with a service “unusual or different from what was before”.
The official went on to say that two other “one-stop shops” had been closed by the ministry due to “lack of demand for this service”. From July 1, we will only operate one store. In these “shops”, would-be immigrants meet in Israel with representatives of the many government departments and agencies involved in processing their citizenship application. immigrants) from Ukraine.
Before it was too late, the committee also urged the Jewish Agency to “prepare a network of dedicated aircraft” to transport large numbers of olim from Russia. He stressed the importance of letting all government officials know that this is not a simple problem and that it requires immediate investment in solutions.