A new campaign orthodox right-wing Chotam organization called over the weekend for the government to make changes in the Law of Return since, according to to the group, most immigrants to Israel aren’t recognized as Jewish according to halacha (Jewish law).
Chotam put out a video titled “Putting an end to non-Jewish immigration; making an amendment to the Law of Return,” which shows a clerk enthusiastically answering phone calls from people who want to immigrate to Israel, explaining to them that even though they are not Jewish, since their family has a grandfather who was Jewish, they can come.
“Is your grandfather Jewish? So everything is fine,” an actor, portraying an official at the Aliyah and Integration Ministry, says in the video, though the fictional ministry is called the Immigration Affairs ministry, possibly suggesting that these aren’t people making aliyah in the ideological sense of the word, rather of immigration only, since they aren’t Jewish according to the halacha. The clerk is asked if a wife of someone who only has one Jewish grandfather can make aliyah, and he answers “of course,” explaining that “she is the wife of a grandchild of a Jew.”
At the end of a video, the phone rings, and a Jew from the Diaspora asks if he can make aliyah. The clerk seems suprised and asked coldly, “a Jew? Who wants to make aliyah? I think that’s fine. After all, we are a Jewish state, aren’t we?”
Chotam warned on Sunday that the Law of Return is “currently being used to allow many gentiles to enter Israel,” adding that “we are bringing masses of immigrants, who have nothing to do with Judaism, to Israel. We need to stop this stupidity, we need to amend the Law of Return.”
Making changes in the Law of Return
When the government was established, one of the main issues was the suggestion to change the Law of Return, specifically to cancel the Grandchild Clause that has allowed people with one Jewish grandparent to make aliyah since 1970. Chotam is currently calling on the government to “keep its promises,” and “amend the Grandchild Clause, as part of a series of steps required to stop the immigration of Gentiles to Israel due to various loopholes in the law and organizations dealing with immigration to Israel.”
Chotam CEO Amital Bareli said that “the preservation of the Jewish majority [in Israel] is critical to preserving the Jewish identity of the country. Nowadays, the Law of Return has become a farce; Many non-Jewish immigrants take advantage of the loopholes, arrive in Israel, receive an absorption basket and return to their countries with a blue passport and a full wallet at the expense of the State of Israel. Around the world there are about 10 million people entitled to the Law of Return who are not Jewish. The Law of Return is used completely opposite to the purpose for which it was enacted - we must fix these loopholes.”