Faina Kirschenbaum, a former deputy Interior Minister and representative of the Yisrael Beytenu party, is currently serving a ten-year sentence in Neve Tirza, Israel's women-only prison, for crimes including money laundering and bribery, committed while in office and second-in-command to party leader, Avigdor Liberman. Kirschenbaum has now submitted an appeal against the Israel Prisons Service after her request to visit her critically-ill, 90-year-old mother, was rejected.
According to Kan 11 News, the Prisons Service rejected the request due to Kirschenbaum's high public and media profile and the feared repercussions with regard to other prisoners if an exception was made and she was allowed to leave the prison to pay a brief visit to her mother.
Three months ago, Kirschenbaum was permitted a half-hour visit with her mother; however, last week, a judge on the Lod District Court, Justice Dror Arad Ilon, wrote in his decision that despite his hesitation, he was declining to intervene in a matter that had already been decided by the Prisons Service.
Judge Ilon nonetheless recommended that the Prisons Service consider the option of permitting the prisoner a personal visit with her mother without time constraints.
Kirschenbaum began serving her sentence in December, 2021, and as such she is yet to become eligible for parole. Her sentence is the longest ever handed down to a Knesset member in the country's history. Her party has been dogged by corruption scandals throughout its history - in 2017, her fellow party member, Stas Misezhnikov, was found guilty of corruption and signed a plea bargain that included a 15-month prison sentence.