According to the Jewish Agency, the body responsible for bringing Jews to Israel, almost a third of the new arrivals will live in the Etzion bloc in the occupied West Bank.

The Etzion bloc consists of 15 Jewish settlements.

The remainder of the Americans and Canadians will settle in cities in central Israel.

“In all, about 1000 North American immigrants will be coming to Israel during the month of July,” said Jewish Agency spokesman Michael Jankelowitz.

A total of 2000 North Americans were expected in Israel this year, up from 1700 in 2002, he said.

Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organisation which encourages and facilitates settlement in Israel, sponsored the Americans and Canadians who arrived on Wednesday. The group provides Jews with loans of $7,000 to $18,000 which they do not have to pay back if they live in Israel for at least three years.

Cornerstone of Zionism


About 1,000 North American immigrants will be coming to Israel during the month of July.

Jewish immigration to Israel is the cornerstone of Zionism, which the United Nations describes as a movement based on racial superiority.

The Jewish Agency estimates 7692 Jews arrived in the country between January to May. As many as 35,168 Jews re-located to Israel in 2002.

Israel’s immigration minister has said the Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, against Israeli occupation is keeping many immigrants at bay.

At least half of the people living in Israel currently were born abroad.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was at the airport, underscoring the importance of Jewish immigration for Israel from economically advanced countries like the US and Canada.

Many of the country’s Jews came from less developed countries in eastern Europe and the Middle East.