Figures disclosed by the Interior Ministry on Monday indicated that an extremely high percentage of immigrants to Israel are not Jewish according to Jewish law, meaning they are not born to a Jewish mother or converts but are rather the spouse, child or grandchild of a Jew. Previous figures, as well as those provided by the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization which organizes Jewish immigration from North America contradicted this data, and within hours of release the Interior Ministry said it was now re-examining its data.Data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics in January 2019 gave that a much lower figure for non-Jewish immigration, putting it at 54% of immigrants for 2018. Further complicating the picture is Nefesh B’Nefesh’s figures compared to the Interior Ministry’s numbers. According to the Interior Ministry, only 30% of immigrants from America over the last eight years were given citizenship under article 1, while 70% received citizenship under article 4a, the so-called “grandchild” clause. Nefesh B’Nefesh stated however that less than three percent of immigrants from North America gain citizenship under the grandchild clause. Hiddush Director Rabbi Uri Regev said that regardless of whether the figure was 86% as per the the data provided by the Interior Ministry to Hiddush, or the lower figure of arounf 50 percent, the situation still underlined how urgent it is for the Israel to “free itself from the yoke of the Chief Rabbinate and religious coercion,” said“The Chief Rabbinate and religious politics do not represent the face of the Jewish people today, and as long as the State of Israell is the child of the Jewish people there is a need to recognize tow things: firstly that the religious establishment has failed massively in opening the gates of conversion to immigrants, and that the State of Israel must give equal recognition to all forms of conversion, whether modern Orthodox or non-Orthodox.“Secondly, civil marriage and divorce must be allowed since under the current religious coercion hundreds of thousands of citizens are denied the basic right to establish a family in their homeland.”According to the original numbers provided by the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority, some 86 percent of immigrants over the last eight years were granted citizenship under article 4a of the Law of Return which gives the spouse, child or grandchild of a Jew the right to Israeli citizenship. Those who are Jewish according to the definition of Jewish law, that is born to a Jewish mother, are given citizenship under article 1 of the Law of Return.