Israel aims to boost ties with diaspora

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Israel aims to boost ties with diaspora

Minister for Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevich: 'Now is the time to formalise the discourse between the government of Israel and world Jewry'

Visitors to Israel on a Birthright trip
Visitors to Israel on a Birthright trip

Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry is hoping to make it a legal requirement for government departments to connect with diaspora Jewish communities on issues that affect Jews worldwide.

News of the bill comes as diplomats desperately struggle to repair strained relations between the government and Jewish communities around the
world, after years of widening rifts on multiple fronts.

Minister for Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevich stated that the aim was to strengthen ties and reiterate that Israel was the homeland of Jews everywhere, saying: “Now is the time to formalise the discourse between the government of Israel and world Jewry.”

Yankelevich added that the Jewish world “deserves a voice in the Jewish state”, but progressive Jews outside Israel increasingly see fewer Israeli policies to which they can relate, owing to the influence of the country’s Orthodox-dominated religious leadership.

Yankelevich said it was “a declaration of the government of Israel’s commitment to repairing and elevating this relationship” and called the bill “a visionary step, propelling forward the relationship”.

She said: “When the government of Israel makes decisions that affect world Jewry, it must also have the decency to listen to world Jewry.”

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