The popularity of Yassir Arafat is getting down. According to the poll held by the Palestinian center for politics and studies of public opinion, the head of PA is supported by 35% of all Palestinians. Prior to the beginning of an intifada Arafat was supported by 46% of respondents. Marvan Barguti, a leader of Palestinian militants, who is imprisoned at the moment in the Israeli custody, is the second in popularity person among Palestinians.
According to published reports, Jews constitute 81% of Israel’s population. These data are not quite exact, affirms Dr. Asher Koen from the University Bar–Ilan. This scientist researches into a so-called “assimilation in Israel”. After Koen, the data of 2001 show only 72% of Israelis (5mln people) are Jews after Galahad, 4% – non–Jews “liable for repatriation”, 18% (1,25mln people) – Israeli Arabs, 2% (150 thousand) – Palestinians illegally residing in Israel, 4% are foreign workers.
The ministry of absorption has created a special project – ulpans for teaching Hebrew to unemployed repatriates. There exists a rather big group of repatriates who got an employment just upon arriving in the country but failed to master even a minimum level of Hebrew. Today, having lost their jobs, they find themselves in a rather difficult situation. The project aim is to enable repatriates to repair an omission and deepen their knowledge of Hebrew.
Repatriates should be on the dole during their studies.
The commission of ministers on legislation has backed an amendment by the deputy Mikhael Klyainer (“Khereet”) changing one of the key postulates of the Law on Return. In accordance with this amendment, grandchildren of Jews shall be able to exercise their right for repatriation only accompanied by grandfathers and grandmothers.
If the latter have passed away, grandchildren lose their repatriation right and, consequently, their connection with Israel. The amendment reflects a consistent position of clerical national circles attacking the Law on Return: over several years Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Ishai (SHAS) sounds the alarm concerning an increasing number of “goys” in the country.
Chairman of the party “Democratic choice”, deputy of Knesset Roman Bronfman has called all this obscurantism. In his opinion, such amendment erects an insurmountable wall between Israel and a signifact part of diaspora. References to forging the documents in some cases do not justify attempts to harden the Law on Return.
Chairman of the parliamentary faction “Democratic choice” Alexander Tsinker has expressed his indignation at the position of those ministers who supported a” Klyainer’s amendment” and has noted he submitted an official demand to discuss this document at the plenary meeting of Knesset. “Society should not put up with such things!” – underlined deputy Tsinker.