The Israeli diplomatic Press Corps sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman, Topaz Luk, after the correspondents who are scheduled to accompany the Prime Minister on his trip to the United States next week were notified that they would not return to Israel on his plane, as was the case in the past.
The letter that was sent to Luk states: "According to the information flyer sent to the media outlets yesterday, it was written in a manner that is rare and unprecedented that the correspondents who are joining the Prime Minister's trip would not be allowed to return to Israel on the Prime Ministers aircraft, this due to the proximity to the end of the Shabbat and the pressure to return before the beginning of Yom Kippur.
In the name of all of the correspondents who are scheduled to fly with the Prime Minister, I am updated that as long as we can not return with you on the Prime Minister's plane, we can not sign up for the flight, and we will be absent," the letter states.
The Press Corps explained: "It is unreasonable to expect us, the journalists who are accompanying the flight, to transgress the Shabbat to arrive in Israel before Yom Kippur or to spend Yom Kippur in New York. What is forbidden for the correspondents, according to the protocol - should be in effect for the entire entourage. Effectively, you are excluding from the delegation anyone who wants to spend Yom Kippur in Israel (as the PM, his entourage, and the professionals due) and are not willing to transgress the Shabbat or travel on it."
They also demand a solution that would allow them to return with the Prime Minister. "We expect a security solution to be found immediately that would allow us to return with the Prime Minister while considering the religious correspondents who are joining the trip. The Prime Ministers' trips over the years were conducted in a manner that prevented Shabbat transgressions. We are insistent that now as well a solution is found. What is forbidden for the correspondents is forbidden for the Prime Minister and his entourage as well."