Sheetrit: Nefesh takeover of N. American aliya shows Jewish Agency's ineptitude
Interior minister to 'Post': "Nefesh B'Nefesh was doing a good job, so the Jewish Agency said 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.'"
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
September 8, 2008 21:36
1 minute read.
nefesh olim ben gurion 248.88 ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Jewish Agency's agreement to allow Nefesh B'Nefesh to become the primary promoter of North American aliya to Israel shows that the Agency was "unable to handle" immigration from the US, Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit said Monday.
"Nefesh B'Nefesh was doing a good job, so the Jewish Agency said 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em,'" Sheetrit told The Jerusalem Post.
"If Nefesh B'Nefesh handles North American aliya more effectively, we have to tell them 'chapeau.'"
Jewish Agency officials responded that Sheetrit, who is a former Agency treasurer, misunderstood the agreement with Nefesh B'Nefesh.
They said the deal is in the best interests of the Agency and it is the scenario that former Agency chairman Sallai Meridor said he wanted when Nefesh B'Nefesh was founded.
"Sheetrit's statements are more extreme in their criticism of the Agency than Nefesh itself was, so there is no reason for Meir Sheetrit to be more Catholic than the pope," an Agency official said.
"The Agency has outsourced, as is done in the 20th century. This agreement will allow NBN to function as the primary promoter of aliya, to prove whether it can deliver on its promises. There is now peace between the organizations, and there is no reason for the interior minister - of all people - to inflame tensions again."