After Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced that he intends to provide assistance to those who seek the help of the Misrad Hapnim for their trip to Uman for Rosh Hashanah, MK Tamar “Tami” Zandberg sent a letter to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in which she claims that “This decision is unfair and harmful to the Israelis who will not be in Uman during the chag.”
In the letter, Zandberg writes that the Israeli Embassy in Kiev will be open after the Yom Tov for 24 hours to provide the service of passport renewals. Also, the Foreign Ministry will provide visitors a special free shuttle to and from the embassy to renew passports, among other services.
Zandberg said that “As you probably know, the holiday season is an opportunity for many Israelis to vacation out of Israel, visiting family abroad and also visiting Jewish sites throughout the world. However, these tourists [in Uman] will receive a special service at the expense of the state, while elsewhere, Israelis will have to face the same bureaucratic difficulties and hardship.”
Zandberg mentioned Israeli youngsters visiting the Far East and South America, who often need the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to her, “This is a decision that is unfair and harmful to the Israelis who will not be in Uman during the holiday. It cannot be that only Israelis in Uman will be serviced 24 hours a day at the embassy…while other will face difficulties if they lose their passport. This is especially during the holidays, when many families travel to visit and travel abroad with young children, who have lost passports, who will have a more difficult time than an individual who visits Uman for the holiday.
The Office of Interior Minister Deri responded that “the Interior Ministry constantly works to provide service to all the citizens of Israel, regardless of religion, race, gender or nationality.”
Preparations for the special flights for Rosh Hashanah to the city Uman, Deri’s office added, is necessary and proper “because the number of passengers in recent years has reached about 30 thousand Israelis in the short span of time of about 48 hours,” requiring advance preparation to reduce bureaucracy and streamline service.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel Bureau