avoiding Israel -
Immigration down 27%
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
August 13, 2002
Immigration to Israel was down by 27 percent in the first half
of 2002, according to figures released Tuesday by the Central Bureau
of Statistics (CBS).
The decrease was due in large part to a 46% drop in immigration
from the former Soviet Union.
Some 8,400 FSU immigrants came in the first half of this year compared
with 15,500 in the first half of 2001.
Mike Rosenberg, director-general of the Jewish Agency's immigration
and absorption department, blamed the drop on the poor economy here.
The decrease came as no surprise to the Jewish Agency, which had
predicted that immigration would be down this year.
Rosenberg said he prefers to focus on the success stories, which
are the immigration increases among Argentinean and American Jews.
According to the CBS, July saw the highest number of immigrants
so far this year, 2,900.
It also reported an increase in the proportion of immigrants coming
under the Entry Law, 10%, compared to 6% last year. The remaining
immigrants came under the Law of Return.
The CBS figures are higher than the Jewish Agency numbers, because
the CBS counts returning Israeli citizens and those who become Israeli
citizens while in the country.
According to Jewish Agency, during the seven months from January
to July this year, there was a 25% drop in immigrants, from 24,286
immigrants last year to 18,179 this year.
On the brighter side, there were 3,128 Jews from Argentina in the
first seven months compared with 794 in 2001, and 989 came from
North America in 2002 compared with 879 in the first seven months