Despite frequent assertions that it is a homeland for all Jews, Israel has rejected a group of would-be immigrants from Venezuela despite years of devotion to their religion.
Under the policy known as aliyah, a Hebrew word meaning “ascending,” any Jewish person may emigrate to Israel, regardless of their nation of origin. Once in Israel, new arrivals are provided with stipends and benefits to help them get on their feet. When Europe was struck by deadly anti-Semitic violence two years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged all Jews to move to Israel.
“I would like to tell all European Jews and all Jews wherever they are: Israel is the home of every Jew,” Netanyahu said after an attack on a synagogue in Copenhagen in January of 2015.
However, this policy has been selectively enforced in cases involving poor or non-white Jews.