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August 12, 1994 - Image 66

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-08-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ALITY CONSTRUCTION

RESIDENTIAL-COMMERCIAL

Israel Protests
Canadian Practice

DESIGN INRECON BUILD

Jerusalem (JTA) — The Israeli
Foreign Ministry has protested
Canada's practice of granting
refugee status to new immigrants
to Israel from the former Soviet
Union on the grounds of dis-
crimination.
Both the ministry and the Jew-
ish Agency said the practice dam-
ages Israel's international
reputation.
Canada's ambassador to Is-
rael, Norman Spector, was sum-
moned to the office of the Foreign
Ministry's acting director-gener-
al, Eitan Ben-Tsur, who "ex-
pressed Israel's annoyance and
regret" over the matter, accord-
ing to a Foreign Ministry
spokesman.
Concern in Israel surfaced af-
ter the daily newspaper Ha'aretz
published an article reporting
that in the past few years, 150 Is-
raeli citizens who were new im-
migrants from the former Soviet
Union were granted the status of
refugees in Canada.
Several thousand additional
requests for such status are re-
ported to be pending.
The claims apparently are be-
ing made on the grounds that Is-

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In the past few
years, 150 Israeli
citizens who were
new immigrants from
the former Soviet
Union were granted
the status of
refugees in Canada.

rael discriminates against the
non-Jewish spouses of the Jew-
ish immigrants.
Mr. Ben-Tsur told Mr. Spector
that Israeli law calls for equality
for all its citizens regardless of
race, religion or sex. He also said
the new immigrants from the
former Soviet Union are granted
generous benefits, regardless of
their religion.
Mr. Spector pledged to look
into the matter and report back
to the Foreign Ministry, though
at the same time he made a point
of defending Canada's refugee
policy.
Yehiel Leket, acting chairman
of the Jewish Agency, said he was
shocked by the scope of the prob-
lem. He said he had visited Cana-
da in April and was assured by
officials that the phenomenon of
Israelis being granted refugee
status was insignificant.
This week he wrote to Cana-
dian Jewish leaders, personally
appealing to them to use their in-
fluence with the government to
prevent the practice.

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