Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett yesterday revealed plans to bring 500,000 Jewish immigrants from the US, South America and France to Israel, local media reported.
Speaking at a Ynet conference marking immigration and absorption week, Bennett said: "It is doubtful whether there are more important issues for our future and the essence of both Israel and Israeli society than the subject of Jewish immigration."
According to Ynet News, he added: "From its founding to the present day, Jewish immigration shaped the face of Israeli society and created a unique mosaic unlike anywhere else in the world."
"Our goal is to bring 500,000 Jewish immigrants from the strong communities in the US, South America and France."
Reflecting his personal experience, he said: "Immigration to Israel for me is a life-shaping experience… Over the years I came to understand that had my parents not come here, it is doubtful whether Judaism would have played such a central role in my life."
Meanwhile, along with efforts to encourage immigration to Israel, Bennett stressed that Israel must ensure and strengthen its ties to the global Jewish community.
"We are all brothers," Ynet News reported him saying. "Racism and anti-Semitism run rampant across the globe. They remind us that Israel is the home of all Jews. Even if you do not live here, this is your home. We must strengthen our cohesion as a nation, and also encourage many good people to take the step and live with us here in Israel."