JERUSALEM (JTA) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saluted the immigrants that came to Israel from Russia following the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, which was set to discuss immigration and absorption, marked 20 years the large wave of Russian immigration to Israel
Today, we mark 20 years since the great wave of immigration to the State of Israel. Twenty years have passed since the Iron Curtain fell, since the gates of the Soviet Union were opened to free emigration," Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu reported that about 1 million new immigrants have since come to Israel from the former Soviet Union, as well as immigrants from Ethiopia, the United States and Europe, "and have changed the face of Israeli society," he said.
"The ingathering of the exiles is one of the foundations of the Jewish state; therefore, we – like all Israeli Governments – are committed to continuing this process. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the approximately 1 million immigrants from various countries who have come to the State of Israel in recent years," Netanyahu said. "I would like to wish you all a continued successful absorption and may you continue to contribute to the State of Israel."