Barak welcomes Israels millionth ex-Soviet immigrant

Barak extended thanks to all who helped bring the immigrants to Israel. "We hope that the absorption of one million immigrants will encourage another million to come to Israel," he said. "That would be the greatest gift of all."

Meanwhile, settler leaders Sunday launched a campaign to muster support from former Soviet emigres against any further withdrawals from the West Bank, by informing them about how this would hurt their communities.

At a press conference members of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza exhibited an array of pamphlets, maps, and documents, all translated into Russian, with information about the settlers' strategy.

Peace Now accused the settlers of "inundating the Russian sector [and] feeding them…disinformation." The group also urged the council to tell the immigrants how much money was being spent on settlements.

Council spokeswoman Yehudit Tayar noted that many Russian immigrants already reside in settlements in the territories. The current campaign, she said, is part of intensive preparations for the rally scheduled to take place in Jerusalem on Monday opposing Israel's intentions to implement a third West Bank withdrawal and the dismantling of settlements.