Israel refusing to let me immigrate, Iranian Jew says

Posted By on May 4, 2022

Despite his attempts to make Aliyah, Perez Ajdrila, an Iranian Jew says he is being turned away by Israel.

Perez Ajdrila is currently residing in Cyprus on a temporary visa and fears the day he will have to return to Iran, where he faces imminent danger because of his Jewish identity and a prior trip to Israel.

Perez Ajdrila

(Photography: Neville Harris)

Ajdrila was born to a Muslim father and Jewish mother. He told Ynet that his Muslim father and grandmother were fiercely against any association of the family children with Judaism.

He came to Israel in 1994 with his mother, and then again in 2012, seeking to escape her marriage and the rough life she had in Iran. "My mother took me and we ran to Israel, and somehow my father could come to Israel and he took us by force back to Iran," he shared.

Upon his return to Iran, he was imprisoned for seven days by Iranian security forces and faced many threats. Later on, Ajdrila again sought to escape Iran, and claimed the only place he could go to immediately was Cyprus after being denied entry by Canada and the UK.

"I came three years ago to Cyprus, and I went to the Israeli embassy and I told them that I want to make Aliyah," Ajdrilla told Ynet in an interview.

"They told me that its not possible, they didn't tell me any reason," he said.

"I completely understand that I'm Iranian and Iran is the biggest enemy of Israel and the biggest enemy of Judaism, but the problem is I don't even have a clear answer. I don't know why they don't accept me. The last email they sent me two weeks ago... they rejected me."

Ajdrila seems to understand the complicated nature of his immigration, and accepts that Israel must take careful measures in granting entrance for certain people.

"I understand, if they want to do a security check or something its completely understandable." He explains helplessly, "I'm in a bad situation. My passport expired in February my visa in Cyprus is going to end in July, but the thing is I don't have any other passport to renew my visa, and after that they might send me back to Iran."

This isn't the first time Ajdrila has tried to make Aliyah. The previous attempt of his mother to bring them to Israel was hindered by her husband.

According to Ajdrila, he has friends and family in Israel. "All of my mother's side of the family is living here."

Israel's reasoning for denying Ajdrila's request is his mother's marriage with a non-Jew, he said.

This is despite his mother's insistence on maintaining her Jewish identity in Iran, and his official approvals showing the Jewish identity of his mother and grandparents.

The population and immigration authorities said Ajdrilla's request was denied because his mother converted.

"After our investigation of the matter and according to the Law of Return, he is not entitled to immigrate. and Mr. Perez Ajdrila's request has been denied. He has the option to submit an appeal to the Jewish Agency."

He claims the authorities demanded proof of his mother's religion from the rabbinate in Iran, but because they fear the authorities, they would not provide the necessary document.

Ajdrilla is exhausted from his long venture, and desperately wants to come to Israel. "I had a very difficult life," he says.

"I only want to have peace."

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Israel refusing to let me immigrate, Iranian Jew says

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