"I've no doubt that we will see a real jump in immigration to Israel," says Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog. "Those who were unsure and considering matters will now take the decision and come. Israel is perceived as a stable and solid place that is earning a lot of praise around the world for its handling of the virus and as a safe haven in a time of distress. The crisis is changing the world order in an unprecedented way and there is no doubt that in a lot of places there will be many Jews seeking not only a safe haven but also a shelter from growing antisemitism that will increase even further."
There are currently about 30,000 immigrants coming to Israel each year and the forecast is for this to rise by tens of percentage points. Despite the coronavirus, 1,000 immigrants have reached Israel over the past two weeks, who have had to go into self-isolation for two weeks. Herzog said, "They refused to give up on immigrating actually because of Israel's image as a haven and despite the integration process becoming much more awkward and difficult just now."
Dozens of them are young academics, mainly from the US, who are being housed in a temporary immigration center in Tel Aviv, where they have to communicate through digital channels. "They are in a new country, with a half-foreign language and isolation, and despite all that they are here," said Herzog.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 19, 2020
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