Israel plans to take in 20,000 Iranian Jews

Saleh Naami in Gaza, Wednesday 15 Dec 2010

Tel Aviv is reportedly planning to attract upwards of 20,000 Iranian Jews to live in Israel, citing concern for their situation while other reports indicate that Mossad has been recruiting Iranian Jewish agents

The Israeli Immigration authority is planning to draw more than 20,000 Iranian Jews to Israel, Israeli Military radio service said.

Over the past few weeks, the plan was the subject of several meetings held by the Knesset's committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs -- focusing on the situation of Jewish minorities in Muslim majority countries.

"We are really concerned about the Jewish situation in Iran, and Israel is committed to bring them in and help them integrate into the Israeli community" said Danny Danon, the committee chairman to the radio.

Conversely, two years ago, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth published a series of investigative reports on Iranian Jews, indicated that Jews in the Islamic Republic are well treated and have never been harassed by the Iranian authorities.

The string of reports was written by an Israeli journalist who entered Iran with her US passport in order to conduct interviews with Jewish families about their experiences and lives in the Islamic Republic.

Two years ago, Mossad posted adverts in the Israeli media announcing that the agency was in urgent need of young people who could speak Farsi and who had sufficient knowledge the Iranian community. The announcement was followed by media reports that Israeli intelligence has been recruiting agents from within the Iranian Jewish community.

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