MK Naftali Bennett:
'French Aliyah - missed opportunity, will be corrected'

Minister Bennett at conference on French immigration: "From today, I intend to be the 'father' of the French Aliyah to Israel."

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Minister Bennett at conference on French immigration
Minister Bennett at conference on French immigration
Diaspora Ministry

Following the announcement earlier this week of a new plan to promote and encourage French Aliyah (immigration to Israel), Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett, participated this morning, Thursday, in the annual conference held by Qualita, the umbrella organization for Olim (immigrants) from France in Israel. The conference was held with the participation of organizations and associations working for French-speaking Olim in Israel in order to promote cooperation in their activities and training employees.

The Minister opened his remarks by referring to the death of the baby injured prenatally in the terror attack in Ofra, and said, "Last night we buried a baby who was shot while still in his mother's womb. He was born out of fire and fought for his life. His name was Amiad Israel, meaning 'My people forever in Israel'. The goal of our enemies is to try to beat us more and more to break our spirits. We are here in the Land of Israel because this has been our home for 3,000 years. Amiad Israel, of blessed memory, paid with his life for this country, and his parents join a long line of parents who fought for the Land of Israel. The goal is to bring us to despair, but peace will come when it is our enemies who despair of this dream of getting us out of here. Therefore, we will never give up a centimeter of the Land of Israel."

Minister Bennett went on to speak about the situation of Aliyah from France and about the plan that he had begun to initiate this week, for the government to assist Olim from France. He said, "There are 200,000 Jews in France who would immigrate to Israel tomorrow if we would do what is needed. The situation in France is not good, and they want to come. This has been a tremendous missed opportunity, but we are not looking back, we are looking to the future. We have already begun at the Ministry of Education with the program for children and youth from France, but this is just one part. Therefore, I raised the issue at the Cabinet meeting, and I was pleased the Prime Minister understood the importance and bestowed upon me the task to lead the formulation of the plan. Since no one has led this issue up until now, I declare today clearly: I will be the 'father' of Aliyah from France. From now on, I am the French minister in the Israeli Government."

Ariel Kendall, CEO of Qualita thanked the Minister and said, "I am very grateful to Minister Bennett for his great efforts to help the French-speaking immigrants. The situation for the Jews in France and the antisemitism in the country mean there is a rare opportunity to bring many Jews from France to Israel, an opportunity the State of Israel is missing because it is not prepared to aid the absorption of Olim from France. I hope that the new plan will be formulated soon, and will include solutions to problems in the areas of employment, education, and housing, to enable the State to absorb and settle tens of thousands of immigrants from France in a coordinated and effective manner."