But according to Jewish Agency spokesman Alex Selsky, the "incentives," or, euphemisms aside, the money these olim will get is not the only factor that will attract them to the country:
There were currently no plans to expand the program, Selsky said, but he insisted there was cause for optimism that the drop in aliya could be reversed.
The region's unusually severe recession, coupled with at least 260 recorded anti-Semitic incidents in 2008 and the financial incentives on offer from the Israeli government, might be enough to engender a new wave of immigration, he said.
"Times of crisis contain in them opportunities that the government must find and actualize," said Absorption Minister Eli Aflalo, calling the new program a "historic step" meant to "create a new wave of aliya from the FSU for the first time since the 1990s."
Let us see if I get this straight. Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries that contain Jews are in a deep crisis. Also, antisemitic incidents are up. But far from these factors troubling Israeli officials, they celebrate them as "cause for optimism" and an "opportunity" to attract new olim.
In other words, they are optimistic that enough FSU citizens will be harassed or suffer material hardship that they will be forced to emigrate to Israel, where they will be received with open arms as cannonfodder for future wars.
If you're a Jew around the world, take notice: Israel's government is rooting for you to be attacked or lose your job, so that you'll learn the lesson that the Diaspora is not worth it. A most immoral approach, but one which in the end lays waste to the notion that Zionist ideals or the realization of their national aspirations are the reasons why Jews emigrate to Israel.