Parents Inside, Outside Israel Struggle With Restrictions for Entering Country
Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected a petition filed by 36 Israeli families who live abroad to allow their children to enter Israel. The children, who automatically become Israeli citizens at birth, are unable to enter the country because their births were never registered and they do not have Israeli passports. Prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic, such children came to Israel as tourists on their foreign passports because there was lax enforcement; but, now, non-citizens are not able to enter the country in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The court rejected the plea on Thursday, a day after Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced some easing of the registration requirements for Israeli children born abroad, but for some families, this did not go far enough. Meanwhile, immigrants to Israel who are expecting babies and whose parents live in other countries have appealed to Shaked to allow their parents to enter the country, even amid concern over the new omicron variant, in order to meet their new grandchildren and to help their children following the birth of a new baby.
A video produced through Yad L’Olim, a nonprofit organization that helps immigrants to Israel navigate government bureaucracy, questions why dozens of contestants for the Miss Universe beauty pageant – and their entourages – have been allowed to enter the country, with at least one contestant testing positive for the virus, while the families of olim, or immigrants to Israel, have been kept out. “My mother is also beautiful,” each visibly pregnant woman says in the video. “Can she come for the birth?”