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August 29, 2002
21 Elul, 5762
Jerusalem

Sallai Meridor to the Prime Minister:
"Don't Change the Law of Return! The defamatory attacks against Olim adversely affect immigration. Threats to change the Law of  Return are harming Israel-Diaspora relations." Only one percent of immigrants define themselves as Christian. The vast majority feels that they belong to the Jewish People.

In a letter to Prime Minister, Jewish Agency Chairman Sallai Meridor asked Prime Minister Sharon to take action to prevent the Law of Return from being changed, in light of reports that the Minister of Interior intends to do so.

"The truth is that in contradistinction to media reports, only one percent of the immigrants define themselves as Christian. The vast majority of the immigrants feel that they belong to the Jewish People and give positive expression to this feeling by involvement in Jewish society, participation in the building of the State of Israel and defending it," Meridor wrote.

Meridor went on to say in his letter, "The defamatory attacks against Olim adversely affect immigration. If the message 'immigrants are not wanted" continues to emanate from Israel, the result will be that fewer immigrants will come to Israel. 

"Moreover these declarations may harm the set of relations existing between Israel and the Diaspora. The Law of Return, in its current form constitutes, from the perspective of Diaspora Jewry, the main expression of the State of Israel's loyalty to them. Published reports about intentions to change the Law of Return may be detrimental to the unity of the Jewish People, and their support of Israel, which is of special significance in a time of war."

For additional information contact Yehuda Weinraub 053-927017

Or
Contact the Office of the Spokesman:

Michael Jankelowitz
Liaison to Foreign Press and Media
Jewish Agency for Israel
Tel: 972-2-6202780
Fax: 972-2-6202708
Mobile: 972-51-601706