The Usherkno massacre is the result of Israel's willingness to allow Soviet non-Jews to immigrate to the country, a former Shas minister charged Monday.
"I predicted it; I said we will regret it for generations to come," said former Shas Chairman Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, who today serves as Raanana's chief rabbi.
In an interview with the "Haredim" website, Peretz said: "We have murderers here and we have anti-Semites that persecute Jews in the State of Israel. Regrettably all we can do now is watch the grim results of the weakness that overcame Israel's leaders, ministers, and advisors."
Rabbi Peretz recounted his trip to the Soviet Union in 1985, when he served as interior minister. He said that back then already he voiced his concerns about non-Jewish immigration to Israel.
"This prompted a major media storm in Israel. Then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir called me in Russia and for 25 minutes attempted to convince me to retract my statements," Peretz said. "However, I told him these are the facts and I will not deny them."
The rabbi added that he asked PM Shamir to change Israel's Law of Return so that it won't allow persons who are not Jewish according to the Halacha to move to Israel. However, the request was rejected by the prime minister.
"As a result, fully gentile children moved here just because their grandpa was Jewish," Peretz said. Had his warnings been heeded, he said, we would not be seeing the crime norms introduced to Israel by some Soviet immigrants.