A Message From Putin

In his Rosh Hashanah message to the Jewish community President Putin stated his expectations that they “make a hefty contribution to the country’s multiethnic identity. “Putin noted that while it was important for Russian Jews to remain close to their customs he emphasized that they have a duty to contribute to Russia.”

“Russia has nearly 200,000 Jews though roughly three times that many are eligible for Israeli citizenship, having at least one grandparent.”

Tens of thousands have left Russia since February when the onslaught began. “The most notable figures to have fled Russia is former chief rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, who left for Israel with his wife two weeks after the war began, after first refusing pressure to support the invasion and then openly opposing it.”

With the influx of 40,000 refugees this year, the Israeli government expects a “spike in immigration from Russia” especially after Putin’s mobilizing 300,000 troops.

So far nearly 40,000 Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarussians have immigrated to Israel this year. Russians make up over half of the number, as 23,789 left for Israel, 13,000 Ukrainians left, “and a much smaller number-1,316-of Belarussians.”

Both the Israeli and Russian governments met to discuss the immigrant crisis. Israeli leaders hope “to bolster flights between Moscow and Tel Aviv and to facilitate the transfer of funds out of Russia.” Kremlin officials have sought to justify the war “as ridding Ukraine of Nazis, including its Jewish president, which has also served to strain relationships with Jews.”

(Source:  The Times of Israel)