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November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘passport’

Tunisia Leader Facing Flack Over Jewish Pilgrimage to El Ghriba

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Just one day after Tunisia’s leader urged officials not to make a fuss over normalization of ties with Israel, the country’s parliament voted to “interview” its tourism minister for deciding to allow Israelis to participate in the annual Lag B’Omer pilgrimage to El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba.

The elected National Constituent Assembly (NCA) has announced it will question Tourism Minister Amel Karboul over the decision to allow Israelis to enter Tunisia.  Also to be “interviewed” will be Security Minister Sefar Ridha, according to international media reports.

“Our problem is not with our Jewish brothers who come for the pilgrimage but with the Zionist entity that occupies Palestinian territories,” said leftist Democratic Alliance head Mohammed Hamdi.

Since the country’s Jasmine Revolution in January 2011, Tunisia has struggled with a massive economic crisis.  Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa warned the parliament Tuesday it was in Tunisia’s best interest to “make the tourist season a success, because tourism is one of the activities that brings immediate cash to the country.”

Of those activities, Jomaa noted, tourism professionals have determined “the pilgrimage to Ghriba must be successful for the tourist season to be successful.” He added, “This is a tradition known to us – the pilgrimage has been taking place for years.”

The tourism industry in Tunisia employs some 400,000 people and accounts for seven percent of the GDP.  Jomaa’s decision to create a policy of tourism “transparency” means that Israelis can for the first time use their official passports to enter the country for the pilgrimage, rather than a specific Tunisian embassy-issued document.

Tunisia had “offices of interest” in Tel Aviv in 1996, and Israel had one in Tunis as well. Those ties were established just two years after the closure of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters which had existed in Tunisia for the twelve years prior.  But the fragile ties established between Tunisia and Israel were torn apart in October 2000 when the PLO succeeded in launching the second intifada in Israel – prompting Tunis to freeze ties in a protest against Israel’s efforts to quell the violence.

For years Jews have gone to Tunisia for the pilgrimage, with or without formal Israeli-Tunisian diplomatic ties. But an Al Qaeda terror attack on the synagogue in 2002 left 21 people dead, and killed the tourist event for the next decade. The Jasmine Revolution and the Arab Spring did the rest.

Will Your Child be Born in ‘Israel’?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The US Supreme Court has agreed to examine the question as to whether or not an American citizen born in Jerusalem can have “Israel” listed on his (or her) passport as their country of birth.

The case is being brought on behalf of Jerusalem (Israel) born, Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky, a US citizen. Zivotofsky’s parents tried to have Israel listed as his place of birth, but the US State Department didn’t allow it.

The constitutional question is whether only the President can allow Israel to be listed, something no president has allowed to happen so far, or if Congress can pass a law that overrides the president on what is claimed to be a foreign policy issue.

Congress actually passed the law in 2002 as part of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, but it was never enforced.

As an aside, if an American child is born in Tel Aviv, the passport will say, “Israel” as the place of birth.

Strangely enough, it’s been reported that the Jerusalem Consulate did add the country name for a man born in Jerusalem before 1948, they wrote “Palestine”.

Of course that is very problematic, as there never was a state of Palestine.

At best, the correct location should have been, “British Mandate for Palestine” or even “League of Nations Occupied Turkey”.

US Palestine Passport

The State Department’s and White House’s official policy has been to not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.

Sounds very one-sided to me.

The case may be decided by June 2015.

The Collective Jew

Monday, August 19th, 2013
I keep trying to make this point to show what I believe is the unique Israel. In the last few weeks, three incidents have happened that once again reinforce what I have known all my life. Am I wrong to believe there is no other country in the world that would do these things?

Here’s the first amazing story:

A young cancer patient on the way to the US with a bunch of other sick kids can’t find her passport.

With no other choice, the young girl was removed from the plane and the plane prepared to depart after a fruitless search on the plane, in the airport, everywhere. Minutes before takeoff, while the plane was taxiing to the runway, they found the passport in another child’s backpack.

Too late, no? The stewardess told the pilot – the pilot radioed the tower and was given permission to turn back. The story appears here.

As the child cried, so too did people on the plane – and the stewardesses, and people on the ground. Amazing.

And the second story…

David Finti is 19 years old. He is a Romanian Jew. While boarding a train, David was electrocuted and severely burned. The local Jewish community contacted the Jewish Agency. They recognize the collectivism of our people just as on the Israeli side it was recognized as well. And so, Israel flew the young man to Israel, making him an Israeli citizen so that he could get critical care free of charge. David and his parents were flown to Israel and are now at Hadassah’s Ein Kerem hospital. The story appears here.

Yet another story in the last few days has come to light. Israel recently managed to bring in another 17 Yemenite Jews – leaving 90 left.What amazes me is that we were able to bring another group here to Israel and more, that we know how many remain. We are watching, waiting, hoping to bring the last remnants of what was once a great community here to Israel.

It is what we do. Three stories of how Israel watches, Israel waits, Israel acts.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Foreign Ministry Strike Strands South Floridians

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

The strike at the Foreign Ministry and its consulates worldwide has left hundreds people stranded, including several from South Florida.

“All I really need is someone to put a stamp in my passport” that expired last month, Delray Beach, Florida businessman Shimon Cohen told the Miami Herald. He charged that the strike violated his “basic human right of free movement.”

The strike was prompted by a government reorganization of the ministry after the creation of  a new Ministry of International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs.

Chaim Schacham, the Israeli consul general for Florida and Puerto Rico, said the strike was necessary. “Because we’re diplomats and we speak diplomatically, they didn’t take us seriously at first,” he added.

Cohen said he understands the beefs of the ministry workers  but “a passport is a necessity, not a luxury.” He said, “I cannot be held as a prisoner here based on what is happening in Israel. Let them settle it within the borders of Israel.”

That assumes that Israeli knows what its borders are.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/foreign-ministry-strike-strands-south-floridians/2013/07/03/

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