Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot" reports that the Jewish Agency for Israel has presented an emergency plan for absorbing 120,000 immigrants from France within four years to the relevant government ministries: the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.
The plan is designed to make immigration to Israel economically viable for French Jews. Most Jews in France are well-off economically, and it will therefore require a generous package of benefits, beyond what is normally offered to new immigrants, to make a move to Israel worthwhile for them.
"We must immediately prepare for the absorption of many thousands of Jews from France. The figures we have already gathered show that thousands of Jews will shortly arrive, and we expect 15,000 this year alone, many more than were expected before the wave of terrorist attacks in France. Unless we put together a plan for their absorption from an economic point of view, they will be liable to emigrate to other countries," Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky said, adding, "The professionals in the government must review the plan and promote it."
The Jewish Agency says that there is no time to wait until after the election in March to approve the plan, as the immigrants are already starting to arrive.
Absorption agencies estimate that about 3,000 new immigrants from France will arrive in Israel by Passover, "and we have to ensure that their absorption is excellent, both socially and economically, in order that other immigration candidates do not go to other countries."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 25, 2015
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