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Diaspora minister: Punishing Jewish Agency for Israel’s stance on war ‘deplorable’

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai attends the Jewish People's Lobby, at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, on November 15, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai attends the Jewish People's Lobby, at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, on November 15, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli ministers rail against the decision by the Russian government to attempt to halt the Jewish Agency’s activities in the country, with one saying it is retaliation for Israel’s support of Ukraine, which Moscow invaded earlier this year.

“Russian Jews will not be held hostage by the war in Ukraine. The attempt to punish the Jewish Agency for Israel’s stance on the war is deplorable and offensive,” says Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai.

“The Jews of Russia cannot be detached from their historical and emotional connection to the State of Israel,” he says.

Immigration and Absorptions Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata says she is working with the prime minister and the Foreign Ministry to address the matter.

“There is no justifiable reason for halting the [Jewish] Agency’s operations, and there are therefore diplomatic efforts underway to clarify the situation and resolve the matter accordingly,” Tamano-Shata says.

“As we have known how to cooperate with Russian authorities for many decades, I have no doubt that we will find appropriate solutions,” she adds.

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