The number of new immigrants moving to Israel in 2020 is expected to rise significantly, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, a senior official from the Jewish Agency told the Knesset Wednesday morning.
MK David Bitan (Likud) was chosen Wednesday as the new chairman for the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee.
Speaking at the committee Wednesday morning, Jewish Agency Director-General Josh Schwartz estimated that in the coming year, approximately 50,000 people will immigrate to Israel, almost twice the average and close to double the number who moved to Israel in 2019.
Schwartz attributed the surge in immigration to the coronavirus crisis, which has disproportionately affected many Jewish communities around the globe.
Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin (Likud) congratulated Bitan on being selected to lead the Immigration Committee, saying: “This is the natural choice. Few people in the Knesset have the ability and talent to move forward with plans and changes like David Bidan knows how to do. His selection is an opportunity on a historic scale to give a real momentum for such an important subject – absorption and connection with the Jewish diaspora.”
“The country cannot exist without absorption of immigration, it is the foundation stone that the State of Israel rests upon. It is the right of every Jew to immigrate to Israel; that is the raison d’etre of Zionism, and we must work to make it happen.”