There is an ongoing situation developing between American parents and the Interior Ministry in Israel. What began on Friday is now getting more tense by the minute.
There are unfortunately students in Yerushalayim who are thoroughly traumatized by the loss of their roommates and close friends. There is understandable shock and pain. Chavrusos have been lost. Yeshivas have been thrown into turmoil. Many of these young adults are suffering a deep traumatic loss and need help.
Despite the severe anguish and trauma, the Israeli Government is adamantly refusing to allow entry of parents of these students into the country.
How can the Jewish State, known throughout the world as the most compassionate and empathetic to any country suffering a natural disaster, be so cruel and heartless to Jewish families suffering such intense loss? The same Israel that allowed hundreds of thousands of people to pack into Meron – with no idea as to who was vaccinated or has antibodies – now refuses to allow parents to be with their children who are suffering psychological trauma. Why can’t the parents of those who lost immediate friends and roommates be allowed to enter in addition to the first degree relatives who were allowed in for funerals?
It is no secret that in a mere two weeks the Israeli government will be allowing entire groups to enter Israel. We call on the Israeli government to grant exceptions to these parents on compassionate grounds.
This has been an extremely stressful moment for the entire Jewish nation. There is a place for rules and regulations. We fully agree. There is also a time to make exceptions. This is one such case. Israel must reconsider.
Jewish children are in severe pain. Yes, professionals are assisting them in dealing with their trauma but these young adults need their parents now.
Rabbi Nechemia Malinowitz of the Igud of Yeshivas and Seminaries gave the following statement to YWN:
“While I understand that they aren’t allowing in foreigners, relatives of Israelis are being let in. At this time of צרת אחים, I think they should also be letting in all parents of visa holders too. And if this isn’t possible, they should be letting in people that truly need their parents at this sad time. These are young adults, and we are talking about a terrible trauma. I believe that the country has the responsibility to allow the victims of this horrible event, to get proper care. Allowing in their parents is the right thing to do at this time.”
The Chaim V’chesed organization has informed YWN that they have been contacted by family members since early Friday morning with relatives and children in Israel who were affected in all sorts of ways by the Meron tragedy. “Many children, students, and family members need urgent family support. It would be a basic humanitarian gesture to allow those family members into Israel.”
Sources inform YWN that an intense pressure campaign is being launched should the situation not be resolved immediately with the inclusion of multiple U.S. Congressmen, Senators, and State Department officials. Indeed, many local elected officials have already been contacted and will be a part of a public campaign calling out the Israeli Authorities for not granting these permits on humanitarian grounds.
Stay tuned to YWN for further developments.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)