Israeli FM: 'Aliyah' Most Important

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that aliyah -- immigration to the Jewish state under the law of return -- "is more important than any foreign aid or diplomatic activity."

In a tribute to members of Chabad -- a Hasidic movement within Orthodox Judaism -- at the Knesset on Monday, Lieberman praised the movement's efforts to further Jewish education and asked them to press in even more with encouraging Jews abroad to immigrate to Israel.

Leiberman said while it's important to safeguard Jewish tradition, an even greater goal is to bring the remainder of the Jewish people to Israel.

"I hope you join in the second part of the Jewish undertaking to bring Jews to Israel," Lieberman said. "We want to see all the Jews here in Jerusalem," he said.

"If we succeed in bringing all the Jews here, we will be in an entirely different situation," the foreign minister -- born in Moldova -- said.

The Chabad-Lubavitch movement calls itself "the most dynamic force in Jewish life today." According to the movement's website, it has 4,000 emissary families worldwide.

Some Chabadniks refer to the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994) -- the seventh leader of the movement -- as "King Messiah."

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Ynet news contributed to this report.

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