Israel sends delegation to Russia after intention to close Jewish Agency

The Israeli Government today sent a delegation to Russia to address Moscow’s intention to close the activity of the Jewish Agency, an organization that promotes and organizes the emigration of people of Jewish origin to Israel.

The Jewish community in Russia is deeply linked to Israel”, said the Israeli Prime Minister in office, Yair Lapid, assuring that he will continue to “work through diplomatic channels so that the important activity of the Jewish Agency does not cease”.

A Moscow court today announced that the Russian Ministry of Justice has requested the dissolution of the Jewish Agency in Russia in a context of heightened tension due to the war in Ukraine.

“The court received an administrative complaint from the main department of the Ministry of Justice in Moscow asking for the dissolution (…) of the non-profit organization ‘Support for links with the Jewish diaspora, Jewish Agency Sokhnout'”, said Ekaterina Buravtsova, a spokesperson for Moscow’s Basmay court.

Cited by the Interfax agency, the spokeswoman stated that this request was motivated by violations of the law, without giving further details.

A “judge-requested discussion” on this case is expected to take place on July 28, the representative added.

Last week, the Russian Ministry of Justice told the Ria Novosti news agency that it had carried out “document checks” with the organization between 30 May and 27 June, without providing further details on the outcome of these procedures.

This decision was considered by several Israeli media as a possible retaliation by Russia against Israel for the critical position of the Jewish State in the face of the military invasion of Ukraine, although the Israeli authorities have kept a discreet attitude on the matter to avoid offending the Kremlin.

Unlike the United States and its Western allies, Israel has not imposed sanctions on Moscow.

In late June, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized Israel, reproaching the country for refusing to impose sanctions against Russia.

Since the beginning of the crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, the Jewish Agency – with a presence in many countries – has facilitated and led the transfer to Israel of many Ukrainians and Russians with Jewish roots who can obtain Israeli nationality under the so-called Law of the Return.

In addition to thousands of Ukrainians, around 10,000 Russians of Jewish origin have emigrated to Israel since the start of the current conflict.

Formed in 1929, this organization organizes the emigration towards Israel of people of Jewish origin.

He started his work in Russia in 1989, two years before the end of the USSR, and then led to the arrival in Israel of hundreds of thousands of Jews from all over the former Soviet Union.

Source: With Agencies

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