Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Enemy Within: Israeli Bureaucrats

Did you read this?

The story is that

Tour operators in Israel received a letter on Sunday from the Population Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) asking them to sign a commitment to not bring tourists into the West Bank. 

Actually, there were two parts to that instruction.  Here's the letter:

And, as is the problem with bureaucracy - 

PIBA later said the missive was sent out in error.

And here is the form that was to be signed and returned:

The letter, dated April 23 and shown on Channel 2 Monday evening, was headed “Requirement not to take tour groups into Judea and Samaria” — the biblical name for the West Bank — and signed by Michal Yosepof, who heads the PIBA’s Border Control Department.

The letter instructs tour operators that “beginning May 15, 2017, you will be required to attach to every request for scheduling a tour group in Israel a commitment form not to enter Judea and Samaria” that must be submitted to the PIBA.

...Such a ban would prevent tourists from visiting Jewish settlements, as well as bar Christian pilgrims from important biblical sites such as Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity and the Jordan River.

However, Channel 2 reported that the PIBA said the letter was a mistake and was to meant focus only on areas of the West Bank controlled by the Palestinian Authority...The PIBA also told Channel 2 that it would reissue a letter to tour operators to clarify the situation in the near future.

Obviously meant to deter "solidarity tours" and showcase "Freedom Summer" visits like that of Beinart & Friends, when will Israeli officials learn to, well, think through things?  Or consult with people who know?


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