The incoming Immigration Minister says the Law of Return needs to be fixed

The far-right lawmaker, who is expected to be the next immigration and integration minister in a likely future government, said on Wednesday that changes to the Law of Return are needed.

“It looks like the Law of Return will have to be amended one way or another,” Ofir Sofer told Army Radio, referring to the law that defines eligibility for Israeli citizenship.

Sofer added that first he had to come to the position and learn all the details – I know the problems, but after learning everything in depth, I can deal with them differently.

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Asked about the “grandparent” clause, which allows anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent who does not practice another religion to obtain Israeli citizenship, Sofer simply said the issue was “very complicated” and would require it. it’s time to think.”

Jewish immigrants fleeing war zones in Ukraine arrive at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, March 15, 2022. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Many (but not only) immigrants to the Jewish state, especially from countries of the former Soviet Union, receive citizenship thanks to this clause in the Law of Return.

Religious parties are expected to enter the new government – Shas, United Torah Judaism, Otzma Yehudit, Noam and HaTzionut HaDatit – and at least one lawmaker from presumptive Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party favors repeal of the “grandparent” clause restricting immigration. children of Jewish parents.

This change is considered positive by anyone who wants to limit the number of immigrants who are not considered Jewish under the orthodox interpretation of Jewish law (halakha).

Doron Almog, chairman of the Jewish Agency, which promotes immigration to Israel, warned that a possible restriction on Jewish immigration could alienate the diaspora.

Israel Jewish Agency Chairman Doron Almog delivers his first speech after being elected on July 10, 2022, in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Despite demands from its allies, Likud must oppose any move to repeal the “grandfather and grandfather” clause, Kahn public broadcaster said last week. Likud is the largest party in the right-wing, far-right and religious bloc, which won the majority of seats in the Nov. 1 poll and is currently in talks to form the next government.

In an interview on Sunday, when asked about a potential amendment to the Law of Return, Netanyahu said he “doubted” the law would change, but did not explicitly rule it out.

A Likud lawmaker warned on Tuesday that any amendment to the “grandparents” clause could ultimately lead to the demise of the entire Law of Return.

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