Ukraine refugee policy bid would expand aliyah eligibility

MK Zvi Hauser (New Hope) offered the basis for an immigration policy regarding Ukrainian refugees.

MK Zvi Hauser during a vote at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on August 24, 2020. (photo credit: OREN BEN HAKOON/FLASH90)
MK Zvi Hauser during a vote at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on August 24, 2020.
(photo credit: OREN BEN HAKOON/FLASH90)

Following the discussions on the absorption of refugees from Ukraine, MK Zvi Hauser (New Hope) sent a letter to Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked in which he offered the basis for the required immigration policy.

Hauser offered to open Israel's gates to a larger group of Ukrainian refugees than those who are currently allowed to immigrate according to the Law of Return.

He suggested four additional categories of Ukrainians that should be eligible: "Refugees with first-degree family connections to citizens of the State of Israel; Refugees that require immediate humanitarian assistance - medically and personally; Refugees working in Israeli companies; Professionals who work in fields that are in short supply in Israel."

Additionally, Hauser called on the Israeli government to make a significant political effort "to promote the aliyah of Jews from the Eastern European region where there is a potential of about one million eligible olim according to the Law of Return."

 Interior Monister Ayelet Shaked speaks to Population Authority officials at Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday about the process of absorbing Ukrainian refugees. (credit: INTERIOR MINISTRY) Interior Monister Ayelet Shaked speaks to Population Authority officials at Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday about the process of absorbing Ukrainian refugees. (credit: INTERIOR MINISTRY)

"The issue of refugees coming from Ukraine challenges the world and Israel in particular," Hauser said. "Today it is estimated that there are one and a half million refugees and the international working assumption is that the number may cross the ten million refugee threshold. Israel is absorbing refugees on an increasing scale and is expected to absorb tens of thousands of beneficiaries of the Law of Return from Ukraine. At the same time, we must soon formulate a policy regarding the absorption of refugees who are not entitled to the Law of Return. In this context, a generous absorption quota should be set as befits a people who have wandered and sought refuge for two thousand years."