Jerusalem, 9 October 1994

CABINET COMMUNIQUE ON IMMIGRATION

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today, (Sunday), 09.10.94:

The Cabinet made the following decision regarding immigration:

The Government of Israel absolutely rejects any idea of restricting the immigration of Jews to Israel and sees itself as obligated to implement the Law of Return the essence of our Zionist outlook in all its aspects.

The Government of Israel expresses great sorrow that, in the storm of controversy over the issue of immigration from the Commonwealth of Independent States, ungrounded remarks were made, which damaged the image of this valued immigration.

The Cabinet views with grave concern, and absolutely disavows any attempt to create an artificial division between veteran citizens and new immigrants, on the basis of ethnic background, or any other basis whatsoever.

The Government of Israel believes that all immigrants who have come to our country over the years have made decisive contributions to the establishment, development, and strengthening of Israel, to its economic development, and to the improvement of the welfare of all of its inhabitants veteran citizens and new immigrants alike. There is no doubt that the current immigration as well, in all its strata youth, the elderly, students, artisans, scientists, engineers, teachers, and artists has made a decisive contribution to the development of Israel in the current period.

The Government has worked, and is working, to the best of its ability to improve the absorption conditions of the immigrants who enter its gates. It sees itself as being obligated to continue to strengthen the absorption network of the 600,000 immigrants who have arrived in the country during the current period.

All Government ministers, without exception, are obligated by this decision and will work in their ministries to improve absorption, strengthen the concept of absorption in Israeli society, implement the open gate policy, and encourage immigration.