December 26, 2004
Abe Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League in the U.S., has told Israeli government officials that Israel should hesitate before "inviting" Jews of the Diaspora to immigrate.
"Say, 'Yes, we want all Jews,' but don't pronounce and don't invite them in times of crisis because it undermines their safety," Foxman told the Knesset committee on Immigration and Absorption.
"If there is one decision that impacts on the safety and security which is counterproductive to what Israel is all about, it is when it comes to this issue," he added.
Foxman was referring to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's statements this past summer to the French Jewish community to escape anti-Semitic attacks there and move to Israel.
Sharon has long promoted plans to bring one million Jews to Israel over the next 10-15 years, including hundreds of thousands from the United States.
Foxman recently lambasted an American radio broadcaster's comment about Israel to a Jewish caller, saying the remark was anti-Semitic. The listener had complained that he was offended by Christian attempts to convert him, and the broadcaster told him that America was a Christian country by majority, and concluded, "You gotta go to Israel."
Groups such as Nefesh B'Nefesh, an organization assisting Aliyah from North America, as well as the grassroots Kumah movement, have been actively encouraging mass immigration of Jews to Israel. More than 200 North American singles are scheduled to arrive in Israel this week on a Nefesh b'Nefesh flight.
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