"Russian government prohibits activities Jewish Agency"


Eastern Europe


Passengers disembark from an airplane carrying Jewish immigrants fleeing the war in Ukraine. Photo AFP, Jack Guez

The Russian government allegedly ordered the Jewish Agency to stop all its activities in the country. Officials of the Jewish organisation confirmed that.

A ban on the activities of the Jewish Agency can have significant consequences for the Jewish immigration to Israel, as it is one of the main goals of the Jewish Agency to promote and facilitate the so-called Aliyah from Jewish communities worldwide.

Recently, the Agency received a letter from the Russian Justice Ministry. It mentioned "administrative issues and points to the problems that have been criticised and their possible legal consequences", a spokesperson of the Jewish Agency told Jerusalem Post. A senior diplomatic official said Russia accuses the Jewish Agency of illegally collecting information about Russian citizens.

According to Jerusalem Post, thousands of Jews are still waiting for their departure to Israel. "They have finished their paperwork and been waiting for flights to become available. However, the Russian sanctions have caused most international airlines to stop flying to the country. Therefore, future immigrants are stuck in Russia", Israeli officials allegedly said.

Another source told Jerusalem Post that Jewish people in Russia have "been feeling the Iron Curtain setting on them. They fear they won't be able to escape the country."

The Jewish Agency initially denied receiving an order from the Russian government, press agency Bloomberg reports. The Agency announced that it would continue its activities. However, later they admitted that the Russian authorities had sent them a letter warning them of possible legal consequences.

The Israeli interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid confirmed that the Jewish Agency had informed him of the order of the Russian Justice Ministry.

Israeli Aliyah and Integration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata responded that she also received a notice of the directive. "I appealed to the Prime Minister to work with the Moscow administration to resolve the problem. Aliyah is a basic right for the Jews of Russia, and we will make sure that it is preserved as such," she said, according to the Moscow Times.



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