Religion Magazine

Religious Travelers Forced to Desecrate Shabbos

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
According to an article in INN, five people who traveled from South Africa to Israel in order to pay shiva calls and mourn with their friends, the Kay family, after the murder of Eli last week, were turned around at the airport. Israel is concerned now about the new variant  of COVID-19 from Africa and barred entry from red countries, including South Africa.
The issue, according to INN, quoting Yediot Achronot, is that this group of 5 South African Jews were banished to a waiting room in the airport and then put on a flight to Dubai. This forced them to desecrate the Shabbos by flying on Shabbos.
One passenger spoke saying that she felt they were treated like criminals and she was told she would be arrested if she did not board the plane. They were not allowed to ask questions and were given nothing to eat. 
As I have said many times, Israel is not a religious state, even though it has a, even sizeable, religious community. Israel identified a serious risk, of a new variant entering Israel - Shabbos was not at the front of its concerns. I dont find that shocking at all, even though of course it was troubling to the people affected. I continue to not understand why people have religious expectations of a government that is not religious. Sure, it is nice when our religion is taken into account and given consideration, and that happens often enough, but religion is not the main concern of the Israeli government. 
What is somewhat shocking is that they refused to give them anything to eat and refused to answer questions. There is no reason the Ministry of Health, or whatever body is responsible for this, cannot have a representative to talk to such groups of people and explain what is happening and why it is necessary. 
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