(photo credit: Nisim Lev)
The government is expected to approve on Sunday an NIS 825,000 million program
to help Tunisian Jews immigrating to Israel following the revolution
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The measure will be discussed at the weekly cabinet meeting and
comes, according to background material provided the ministers, against the
background of the recent revolution that has lead to an “Islamization of the
government and an increase of anti-Semitism.”
Some 1,500 Jews currently
live in Tunisia: 900 on the island of Djerba, and another 600 in
Explaining the need for enhanced economic aid to the immigrants,
the background material said that “as a result of the revolution, there is a
very difficult economic situation in Tunisia, and the value of the local
currency, the dinar, has significantly lost value. Most of Tunisia’s Jews come
from the middle or lower economic classes without assets. Even those with assets
have lost the value of those assets. As a result of the revolution and the
economic crisis, there is no opportunity to sell those
Furthermore, it was pointed out that there is a $3,000 limit on
how much money anyone can take out of the country.
The aid package calls
for a NIS 15,000 grant in two installments for each family for their first seven
months in the country, and an additional NIS 18,000 that will be paid in two
payments from their 13th to 24th month in Israel. The cost of the program will
be split evenly between the government and the Jewish Agency.
families are expected in the first stage of the project.
government business, the cabinet is expected to approve the appointment of
Yaakov Amidror as the new head of the National Security Council, replacing Uzi
Arad; and Gidi Schmerling as head of the Prime Minister Office’s National
Information Directorate, replacing Nir Hefetz.