Israeli minister regrets letting in Soviet Jews – because they aren’t ‘real’ Jews

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The minister landed in hot water after lamenting the presence of hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the USSR on Israeli soil and criticising the current situation in the Immigrant Absorption Ministry. Aryeh Deri, Israel’s minister of interior and head of the Israeli Shas religious political party, has found himself under fire over racist remarks he made towards immigrants from the former Soviet Union, The Times of Israel reports. “Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of Israelis who immigrated from the former Soviet Union in accordance with the Law of Return aren’t Jews according to halacha [Jewish religious law] and they are here, to my great regret,” he said. As the newspaper points out, about 400,000 people currently living in Israel, most of them immigrants from the former Soviet republics, are not considered Jewish by the Chief Rabbinate and therefore “unable to marry in state-sanctioned weddings or to enjoy other basic rights”. Comment: Ahh, Israeli ‘democracy’. There’s…

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