New team of ministers will work out plan for Uman pilgrimages

PM Netanyahu taps Min. Ze'ev Elkin to head team of ministers charged with reaching agreement on travel to Uman, Ukraine.

Hezki Baruch ,

Ze'ev Elkin
Ze'ev Elkin
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has appointed Higher Education Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) to head a team of ministers who will examine the options for travel to Uman, Ukraine, for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), the Prime Minister's Office reported Saturday night.

Elkin, who was born in Ukraine, will lead the new team consisting of Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White), Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas), and Science Minister Izhar Shai (Blue and White).

The team was created in coordination with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) and coronavirus czar Professor Ronni Gamzu.

The plan which will be examined will be in accordance with Ukraine's strict rules.

Opposition leader MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid-Telem) slammed the decision, saying, "There is no need for a team of ministers [to examine] the issue of travel to Uman, there's no need for a plan, there's no need for someone in charge of it. There is only a need for a normal government which will make a decision based on professional recommendations and which will handle the consequences. This isn't political, group of scaredy-cats, it's about health."

Meanwhile, coalition chairman MK Miki Zohar (Likud) said that the decision to create a team of ministers to deal with this issue was correct, but it is a shame that it came too late.

"We could have prevented embarrassment with a quicker decision, but better late than never," he said. "A plan was presented (to limit it to 6,000 passengers with tests on the way there and on the way back) a a week ago, and this could have solved the unnecessary crisis. I hope that G-d willing it will now be accepted."



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