Netanyahu calls for European Jews to move to Israel

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu. From file.
Image: US State Department.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has today called for European Jews to emigrate to Israel following the attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen yesterday. The Israeli government is to discuss a plan to allocate $46 million (40 million) of funds to aid immigration by Jews in France, Belgium and Ukraine.

Meeting with the Israeli Cabinet, Netanyahu said: "Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews and this wave of terrorist attacks – including murderous anti-Semitic attacks – is expected to continue[...] Jews deserve protection in every country but we say to Jews: Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe. I would like to tell all European Jews and all Jews wherever they are: 'Israel is the home of every Jew.' [...] Israel is waiting for you with open arms."

The Israeli economy minister Naftali Bennett backed up Netanyahu's statement: "Israel is always waiting for them. This will never change. Jews can and should have the right to live anywhere, but if there are Jews who are concerned about their future, we are certainly waiting for them."

Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman stated the Danish attacks "prove what we have said over the years – that Israel and the Jews are affected by this terrorism before anyone else because they are on the frontline in the war terror is waging against the West and the entire free world." He also said the international community needed "to ask for more than declarations and demonstrations against this terrorism, but also shake off the rules of political correctness and fight a real all-out war against Islamic terror and its roots."

Denmark's chief rabbi Jair Melchior said Netanyahu's comments "disappointed" him, and argued: "Terror is not a reason to move to Israel. [...] People from Denmark move to Israel because they love Israel, because of Zionism. If the way we deal with terror is to run somewhere else, we should all run to a deserted island."

Netanyahu offered a similar statement following the attacks in Paris last month against the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.