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Russian Jews Take Advantage of Their Israeli Passport

Russian Jews Take Advantage of Their Israeli Passport

Tuesday, 3 December, 2019 - 09:00
A Jewish man prays and kisses a religious icon at the Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
Tel Aviv- Asharq Al-Awsat

Political sources in Tel Aviv revealed Monday a new widespread phenomenon that is worrying Israeli authorities, which is the arrival of many immigrants who are deemed eligible under the Law of Return.

This law grants Jews from around the world great facilities and an Israeli nationality, in addition to other privileges. However, once they receive these privileges they leave Israel or relocate to other Western countries.

The sources stated that this phenomenon exists mainly among Jews coming from the former Soviet Union, specifically Russia.

This phenomenon was regarded by far-right parties as a form of trade, intended to exploit the privileges given to Jews. They bring with them precious goods, furniture and electrical appliances without having to pay taxes or customs fees, then they sell them at their normal value and receive their price in the hard currency.

Every new immigrant receives 2,500 shekels (one American dollar equals 3.5 shekels) for his family once his plane lands at the airport or a similar amount if he is alone. The immigrant opens an account in an Israeli bank then he starts receiving monthly amounts for six months.

In case the immigrant leaves the country, these grants stop unless he states that he is working abroad and will return to Israel soon. These benefits continue in case his wife and children remain in Israel – they also get a passport that facilitates their entry to Western countries without a visa.

Those entitled to the Law of Return in Russia and the Soviet Union were aware of the opportunities in Israel. Giant firms were established to provide them with these services. Some ads appear on Russian websites and posters in Russia in this regard.

Every Jew pays EUR1,000 for the Russian company that manages this business. For example, a company pledges to process an Israeli passport in one day only.

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