New absorption chief vows easier aliyah


Israel’s new immigration absorption minister vowed to make aliyah less onerous.

Ya’acov Edri said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post published Tuesday that having prevented planned cuts to his ministry’s budget, he intends to implement measures for making immigration easier.

For one, new arrivals will be issued Israeli identity cards upon landing at Ben Gurion Airport, sparing them the need to line up at Interior Ministry offices later.

Edri said he also wants to bring back Israelis who emigrated by exempting them from some social security back payments.

Edri, who assumed his new post last month in a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has received criticism from Anglophone immigrants for speaking poor English.

The Moroccan-born minister speaks French as well as Hebrew, and he vowed to improve his English. But he added: “I feel good with every immigrant. That my English isn’t the best does not add or take away from that.”

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