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Iranian Jews blast offer of cash for immigrating to Israel

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Iranian Jewish group says community's identity not for sale; donors offer $10,000 to move to Israel.

An Iranian Jewish organization announced over the weekend that it rejected an initiative to compel Iran's Jewish community to immigrate to Israel using cash incentives.

"[The money is]inappropriate and politically immature," the group said in a statement that was carried by Western and Iranian news outlets.

It added Iran's Jewish community has remained loyal to the Islamic Republic and that their "Jewish Iranian identity is not a commodity that passes from the hands of one merchant to another in return for money."

The statment addressed an offer by expatriate Iranian Jews offering a sum of $10,000 to each individual to immigrate to Israel.

The $10,000 offer doubled the existing $5,000 allocated each Jewish Iranian upon arrival to Israel by the Ministry of Absorption and the Jewish Agency.

Iran's Jewish community has decreased from 80,000 before the Islamic revolution, to about 20,000 today.

It is represented in parliament by a Jewish lawmaker and is the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside of Israel.

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