Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai announced on Saturday that he will demand that the government establish a ministerial committee to determine Israel’s immigration policy.
His proposal, which he plans to raise at the cabinet meeting on Monday, comes after there was much criticism this week over the Israeli government’s treatment of Ukrainian refugees.
It also comes as many flights are expected this week bringing both new immigrants and refugees to Israel.
“Israel does not have a defined and clear immigration policy,” Shai said. “The refugee crisis from Ukraine requires a government decision based on agreement between the various components of the government. Israel must adapt to the new situation that has arisen. The State of Israel, the state of the Jewish people, must reach out to refugees in Europe. We must not be indifferent to the humanitarian catastrophe that is taking place there.”
Hundreds of Israelis demonstrated on Saturday in Tel Aviv against Russia’s launching of the war and in support of the Ukrainian people, in parallel with a protest by dozens of people outside the home of Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked against the outline she formulated for the absorption of refugees.
Demonstrators held up signs saying, “Do not deport refugees” and “A Jew does not expel a refugee” painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, and shouted, “Shame,” “Shaked, wake up” and “You are a liar and evil.”