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Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver on Tuesday decried the "witch hunt" that has overtaken Israeli public discourse surrounding immigrants from the former Soviet Union following the gruesome murder of a Rishon Letzion family.

"This witch hunt is nothing but racism which has no place in Israeli society in the 21st century," Landver said.

The minister, herself a native of Leningrad who immigrated to Israel in 1979, accused the media as well as other agenda-driven figures in Israeli politics of trying to distort the discussion and to stigmatize an entire section of the public.

"Over the course of the last two decades, [immigrants from the CIS] have unrecognizably changed for the better the face of society and state and they have given an enormous contribution that helped the state of Israel evolve from a developing country into the group of developed countries," Landver said.

"All this talk about the need to 'tighten the background checks of potential immigrants' and to 'place obstacles in the way of aliyah for murderers', as well as changing the Law of Return [which grants Israeli citizenship to any Jew who opts to immigrate to the country] are all nothing but despicable, racist statements which equate the country of origin of an entire swath of the population with its alleged criminal tendencies."