Jewish Agency Board Calls on Israeli Government to Grant Legal Status to Over 500 Young African Migrants, Ensure Transparent Asylum Application Process Board Also Reiterates Support for Western Wall Agreement, Urges Government to Implement It in Full

ZICHRON YA’AKOV, ISRAEL – The Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel has called on the Israeli government to grant legal status to more than five hundred young asylum seekers from Africa and to ensure that all migrants are afforded a transparent asylum application process.

Meeting in the town of Zichron Ya’akov in northern Israel, the Jewish Agency board—the organization’s central policymaking body—noted the “broad attention” paid to the asylum seekers in Jewish communities around the world. Appealing to Minister of Interior Arye Deri following a letter on the subject sent to him by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, the board called on the minister to “grant legal status to the more than five hundred young migrants who arrived in Israel years ago as unaccompanied minors and were integrated in the education system of youth villages operated by The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Education.” “These youngsters have grown up in an Israeli educational environment, speak fluent Hebrew, are imbued with Israeli culture, and are loyal to the State of Israel,” the board noted. “Therefore, it is right that they be granted legal status.” The board also called on the Government of Israel to ensure that “every migrant has an opportunity to apply for asylum and receive transparent due process in the examination of their application” and announced the establishment of a task force to urgently study various solutions to the matter and issue recommendations to the board.

The board also unanimously adopted a resolution reiterating its support for the Western Wall agreement and calling on the Government of Israel to implement it in full, as a reflection of the principle of “one wall for one people.” Brokered by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky at Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request, the agreement was adopted by the Israeli government in January 2016 and subsequently suspended by the government in June 2017. Noting that construction has begun at the egalitarian prayer area ay Robinson’s Arch in an apparent effort to fulfill one element of the agreement, the board stated that all three of the agreement’s elements – “one entrance, inclusion in supervision and management of the site, and physical improvements to the site” – should be implemented by the government.

The full text of the resolutions follows,


 

JEWISH AGENCY FOR ISRAEL

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

 

February 2018                                                                          Adar 5778

Resolution

 

Whereas there is broad attention in our communities around the world to the decision of the Israeli Government regarding the imminent deportation of 38,000 African migrants; and

Whereas a serious discussion of this issue was held at the Jewish Unity Committee by all The Jewish Agency’s constituent members;

Therefore, the Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency hereby resolves:

1. To appeal to the Government of Israel to ensure every migrant has an opportunity to apply for asylum, and receive transparent due process in the examination of their application.

2. To call on the Minister of Interior, following The Jewish Agency’s Chairman’s letter thereto, to grant legal status to the more than 500 young migrants who arrived in Israel years ago as unaccompanied minors and were integrated in the education system of youth villages operated by The Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Education. These youngsters have grown up in an Israeli educational environment, speak fluent Hebrew, are imbued with Israeli culture and are loyal to the State of Israel.  Therefore, it is right that they be granted legal status.

3. To set up a task force within the Board of Governors that will examine the issue with a view of submitting recommendations for further action to the Board.

4. This study should be completed as quickly as possible in light of existing deadlines for deportation.


JEWISH AGENCY FOR ISRAEL

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

February 2018                                                                          Adar 5778

A Resolution Affirming Commitment to the Full Implementation of Kotel Agreement

Whereas 5 Iyar 5778, corresponding to 19, April, 2018 is Israel’s 70th Yom Haatzmaut, Independence Day; and

Whereas the Jewish Agency for Israel, representing world Jewry through its constituent members, the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod, ensure the future of a connected, committed, and mutually responsible global Jewish People with a strong Israel at its center and inspires Jews throughout the world to connect with their People, heritage, and homeland, and empower them to build a thriving Jewish future and a strong Israel; and

Whereas, at the request of the Prime Minister, the Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency was asked to convene world Jewry and negotiate with the Government of the State of Israel to reach an agreement to establish the Kotel as a unifying symbol for Jews around the world, as stated: ‘ONE WALL FOR ONE PEOPLE;’ and

Whereas such an agreement was achieved by the Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency together with the Secretary of the Government, Avichai Mandelblit,and accepted by The Government of Israel January, 2016 and then subsequently “frozen” by the Government June 2017; and

Whereas since that time there have been no serious discussions to achieve a resolution to the crisis; and

Whereas The Government is currently taking unilateral steps to implement only one of the three essential aspects of the agreement by beginning construction at the site of the Southern Plaza of the Kotel, known as Robinson’s Arch;

Therefore be it resolved that The Jewish Agency continues to call upon the Prime Minister and the Government of Israel to implement the Kotel Agreement in full, containing its three essential elements - one entrance, inclusion in supervision and management of the site and physical improvements to the site.

 

 

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27 Feb 2018 / 12 Adar II 5778 0