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Israel to deport daughter of Holocaust survivor because she was baptized as Christian

(Wikimedia Commons/Tiia Monto)The flag of Israel is featured in this image.

Israel's Population and Immigration Bureau has reportedly ordered the deportation of a daughter of a Holocaust survivor based on claims that she had been baptized as a Christian when she was a baby.

Rebecca Floer, a Swedish national who grew up in Austria, had applied to immigrate to Israel under the country's Law of Return, but the immigration bureau had rejected her request over claims that she was baptized when she was one week old and has ties to a messianic organization.

Under Israel's Law of Return, anyone with a Jewish grandparent is eligible for Israeli citizenship, but those who have voluntarily changed their religion are excluded.

Floer's lawyer, Shira Schwartz Meirman, contended that Floer is eligible for citizenship since she had not voluntarily converted to another religion.

"Her father was a Jew and was even persecuted during the Holocaust and lost some of his family members due to their Jewish identity. While he distanced himself from the religion after the Holocaust, he did not believe in another religion, and therefore his daughter is entitled to immigrate to Israel," the lawyer said, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The immigration authority, however, insisted that Floer is "the daughter of a Jewish man who married a Christian and lived for years as a Christian. The daughter was baptized in the church immediately upon her birth."

A letter by Population and Immigration Authority official Irit Laubel indicated that the bureau had received information that Floer had been "presented as a Messianic Jewish psychologist who believes in Jesus" and is affiliated with a Swedish Evangelist organization.

Floer, who works as a psychologist in Gothenburg, Sweden, denied claims that she was a member of a missionary organization but noted that she had participated once in a debate on Jesus.

She said that she took part in the event at the request of a Swedish Christian parliamentarian who invited her because of her Jewish identity. "I have no further connection with the organizers of this event," she added.

The 64-year-old psychologist explained that her father, Josef Kornfeld, had never converted from Judaism, but he had distanced himself from religion after the Holocaust.

Floer had been baptized at the hospital at the request of her Christian mother, and her father did not raise any objections because he wanted to integrate into Sweden.

She stressed that the rise of antisemitism and the extreme right in Europe was one of the driving factors behind the decision to emigrate to Israel.

"Since childhood I have suffered from antisemitism, which has intensified in recent years, and recently a swastika was even painted at the entrance to my apartment," she said.

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