Israeli citizenship proposed for Russians contributing to Israel

Sunday, March 25, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman proposed granting Israeli citizenship and passports to Russians who make considerable contributions to Israel.

The proposal includes making conditions, primarily for distinctive people from Russia and former Soviet Union states who are unable to immigrate according to Israeli immigration law.

Lieberman has already discussed the move with Interior Minister Roni Bar-On and Naomi Ben Ami, chairman of Nativ - a liaison unit in the Prime Minister's Office that maintained contact with Jews in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

Lieberman has been accused of pushing his own political agenda, but he claims it is an attempt to diminish the rift between Israel and prominent leaders who feel persecuted and unwanted by Israel.

The strategic affairs minister claims Israel rejects prominent Russian business people who want to invest in Israel.

Lieberman recommended that Nativ make a list of key figures in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) “who could help Israel in security, economy, culture, science and sports” or alternatively contribute to increasing pro-Israel influence in the Jewish communities.

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