Israel to allow immigration of Jews from north-east India

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Israel
Jerusalem, Jul 5: Israel is again ready to welcome Jews from north-eastern India, commonly referred to as Bnei Menashe, after a ministerial committee on immigrant absorption decided "in principle" to let them in to undo the "historical injustice" suffered by them.

Some 1,700 Bnei Menashe have already immigrated to Israel, but the process was halted in 2007 after questions were raised on their "Jewishness".

However, Israel's Ministerial Committee on Immigrant Absorption, led by foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, recently decided to appoint an inter-ministerial team of director-generals to prepare an operative plan of action to bring all Bnei Menashe members, living in parts of Manipur and Mizoram, to Israel, Ynetnews reported.

It has reached an "in principle" decision to resume the process and the plan is likely to be brought to the government's approval this month.

Lieberman and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver have now decided to undo the "historical injustice" suffered by the Bnei Menashe community and bring all of its members to Israel, the report said.

"This is clearly a Zionist issue," Lieberman told Hebrew daily, the Yedioth Ahronoth recently.

"Even those of Bnei Menashe who have already immigrated have proved to be Jews and Zionists for all intents and purposes," he added.

"Even Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has ruled that they belong to the people of Israel. I hope we can bring them here in a move which will benefit both them and the State of Israel," the Israeli foreign minister stressed.

PTI

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