Danny Atar
Danny AtarShahar Azran

Danny Atar, World Chairman of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, took part on Sunday at the Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah event in New Jersey.

"A catastrophe threatens the small Jewish people," warned Atar, adding, "A majority of the Jewish people in the United States, about 65 percent, choose to disengage from the Jewish people. There is an increase in anti-Semitism and a high level of assimilation, and therefore we are concentrating our resources in order to bring as many olim as possible."

He noted that KKL is moving towards a large project aimed at bringing half a million Jews to the Galilee and one million Jews to the Negev.

Atar explained that Kiryat Shmona and Beit She'an have remained in the past few decades with the same number of residents, so the challenge is not simple. "We are working to establish industrial zones in the Galilee and the Negev, large high-tech areas, cyber zones, which will bring thousands of Jews, Israelis and olim alike."

He also addressed the question of whether Israel is doing enough to bring olim to Israel. "Personally, I feel that we have not done enough. There is no reason why Jews from France and Belgium should move to Canada and not to Israel. If Israel worked enough, everyone would come to it. We have more to offer them."

Several weeks ago, Atar revealed that KKL was fighting against a Palestinian takeover of the lands in the Negev and the Galilee. "In the past year, we have invested more than 500 million shekels in land purchases and discovered that money from the UAE is coming to the Galilee to purchase land. The Arab money is meant to lure farmers who encounter financial difficulties and transfer their property to Arab hands. In such a case, we negotiate with the farmer and save his land."