Will Supreme Court block yeshiva students from coming to Israel?

Petition filed with Supreme Court calls for overturning of coronavirus czar's decision to grant entry to foreign yeshiva, seminary students.

David Rosenberg ,

Yeshiva students (archive)
Yeshiva students (archive)

A new petition to the Israeli Supreme Court aims to block the entry of thousands of non-Israeli yeshiva and seminary students to Israel amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, a petition filed by Tel Aviv-based attorney Reuven Bilet with the Supreme Court calls on the court to reverse a decision by Israel’s Interior Ministry, Health Ministry, and coronavirus czar, Ronni Gamzu, which green-lighted the entry of close to 17,000 seminary and yeshiva students who do not carry Israeli citizenship.

The petition argues that the court should intervene to cancel the order, barring the students’ entry until the end of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, the petition argues that at the very least, even if the students are permitted into the country, they should be required to go into isolation at a coronavirus hotel immediately following their arrival in Israel.

Bilet argued that the decision to permit yeshiva and seminary students into Israel discriminated against others seeking entry into Israel.

“There is discrimination in allowing [religious] students into Israel while barring people who live in Israel and whose spouses, children, and parents live in Israel just because they don’t have an Israeli passport.

Bilet called on the court to issue an injunction against the entry of yeshiva and seminary students, who are expected to begin arriving in less than a week.

Ma’ariv reported Tuesday that a second petition against the entry of yeshiva and seminary students is expected to be filed today.

While Gamzu initially opposed the plan to permit foreign yeshiva and seminary students into Israel, last Monday he reversed course, approving the plan.