The Jewish Agency instructed its emissary in Belarus to stop its activities with regard to promoting aliyah (immigration to Israel) The Jerusalem Post has learned.
After the Post asked the agency for a response over the weekend, another letter was sent to the representative who was then instructed to “freeze” the cancellation of activities relating to promoting aliyah, according to two sources who saw the correspondence.
It is unclear why the agency changed its decision. It also wasn’t specified in any of the letters why the agency asked to cancel or freeze the activities that were meant to promote aliyah.
One assumption could be the close ties between Russia and Belarus and the tension between the Jewish Agency and the Russian Federation due to its activity in the country, which Russia’s Justice Ministry claimed to be of a foreign agent and that it should be liquidated.
The agency has been brought to trial in a Moscow court since August, a trial that is continually postponed.
Why did the Jewish Agency want to stop promoting aliyah to Israel from Belarus?
According to the Jewish Data Bank, there are 8,500 members of the core Jewish population in Belarus and 33,000 eligible to make aliyah under Israel’s Law of Return. The Jewish Agency has one Israeli emissary in Belarus and about 20 local employees.
Sources in the agency and in organizations that work with it have confirmed to the Post that the initial message was sent to the Belarus delegation, as was the letter sent during the weekend, which asked them to hold off on the cancellation of the activity.
“there is no change in the work or policies of the Jewish Agency in Belarus and no activity that was planned to take place has been canceled.”The Jewish Agency
The Jewish Agency responded at the request of the Post that “there is no change in the work or policies of the Jewish Agency in Belarus and no activity that was planned to take place has been canceled.” The agency’s spokeswoman added in a written comment that “the Jewish Agency continues to carry out educational activities and take care of [future] immigrants throughout the country and it helps anyone who wants to immigrate to Israel, as it has done in previous years.”