Photo Credit: Flash 90
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett holds a press conference at Ben Gurion International airport, June 22, 2021.

Speaking on Sunday at a conference marking Immigration and Absorption Week that was hosted by Ynet, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that his goal for Israel in the coming decade is to bring home half a million Jews from the US, South America, and France.

“Aliyah to Israel for me has been a life-shaping experience,” Bennett shared. “My parents, James Bennett Z’l and Myrna, who grew up in San Francisco and made aliyah to Israel after the Six-Day Year, made the most important decision of my life and of my Jewish identity. Over the years, I came to understand that had my parents not come here, it’s doubtful whether Judaism would have played such a central role in my life.”

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With that in mind, Bennett said, “It’s doubtful whether there are more important issues for our future and the essence of both Israel and Israeli society than the subject of Jewish immigration.”

“From its founding to the present day, Jewish immigration shaped the face of Israeli society and created a unique mosaic unlike anywhere else in the world,” the PM said.

Seeing as the average annual aliyah figures hold at around 25 thousand, Bennett’s ambitious vision would require them to double, starting in 2022, and that’s for Jews from around the world. To bring home half a million Western Jews would require a huge rise in their numbers. Let’s just hope they won’t be forced to come home in a hurry.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.