Ben Gurion Airport
Ben Gurion AirportMiriam Alster/Flash90

Over 300 rabbis, communal leaders and heads of Jewish organizations around the world – representing hundreds of thousands of Diaspora Jews – signed a letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett asking him to open the gates of Israel to non-citizens. “We are all family, and we wish to visit our ‘mishpacha’ (Hebrew for family) in Israel”, the impassioned letter stated.

The letter, which avoids criticism of the Israeli government, is the largest such petition to date, with prominent signatories from 28 different countries.

Gael Grunewald, Deputy Chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Head of its Education Department, said: “The desire of Jewish communities from around the world to come to Israel after such a long time of being away expresses their deep connection to Israel and how much it is part of their identity as Jews.”

Rabbi Doron Perez, Executive Chairman of World Mizrachi, added: “The title of our campaign, Libeinu b’Mizrach, is based on the iconic pining for the Land of Israel of the great lover of Zion, Rabbi Yehuda Halevi. As a global movement representing tens of national Mizrachi branches across the globe, hundreds of communities, and hundreds of thousands of lovers of Zion, it is our responsibility to bring before our decision-makers the heartfelt sentiments of our constituents and indeed of Jews all around the world. As a Jewish State, we must find a way to both protect all Israeli citizens and to allow safe access to all those for whom Israel is so dear. We have to have it both ways.”