Barak Hopes for Another Million Jews from Former Soviet Union
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak told an enthusiastic rally of Jews from the former Soviet Union Thursday he hoped another million Jews from their previous homelands would settle in Israel.
"Give us a million more immigrants and we shall be not only the strongest but also the best," Barak told a huge public concert, which organizers said was attended by 200,000 people from the former Soviet Union and their families.
"This immigration is the best present Israel has received since its establishment" in 1948, he said, to the sustained applause of the crowd.
The concert, entitled "From Russia with Love" was a threefold commemoration marking the 10th anniversary of the wave of immigration of ex-Soviet Jews, the 52nd anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel, and the 55th anniversary of the Allied victory over the Nazis.
Top Russian pop stars performed before the appreciative, mainly youthful crowd gathered in a Tel Aviv park, in the biggest rally yet seen of Jews from the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Barak Sunday welcomed the millionth immigrant to arrive from there since the wave of immigration started in September 1989.
Russian-speaking immigrants make up a sixth of the Israeli population, which reached 6.2 million people at the end of 1999 - (AFP)
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