Israelis stop in Dubai in fog and others travel freely

As the closure of Israeli airport continues, hundreds of Israelis are stranded in Dubai with no way to get home. Many lament while watching other groups get an unbiased travel permit.
Ben-Gurion Airport is closed until at least February 21, and possibly beyond, as the government tries to keep coronavirus mutations out of the country and push ahead with the vaccination campaign across the country to achieve herd protection. The unusually tight measure comes when it was hoped that vaccines could end a series of severe pandemic restrictions.

“I’ve been here for over a month with my family,” said Charly Darwich, a Ra’anana resident. “I came here intending to take a two-week vacation with my wife and children, and it’s been two weeks longer, endless in sight.”

Darwich believed that hundreds of Israelis are missing in Dubai with no way to return. “Last week, there was an emergency flight, but we didn’t have enough time to get all the tests and permits we needed,” he said. “Anyway, there wasn’t enough room for everyone, and people were fighting at the airport over who could get on the plane.”

Darwich said he heard that two Israeli private planes from Israel landed in Dubai over the weekend, one carrying a group of Israeli reality show participants, and one with people working on an Israeli display for the World Expo in Dubai scheduled to start in October Neither of these trips brought Israelis back to Israel after that.

The Israeli representative explained that, as the flights were privately booked, they had no authority to return anyone.

Meanwhile, hundreds of athletes from 63 countries around the world are expected to arrive in Israel this week for the Grand Slam of the International Judo Tournament in Tel Aviv. Many in Israel and abroad are scratching their heads in disbelief, questioning how the government can prevent its citizens from returning while allowing as many coronavirus carriers to enter. .

In Dubai, Darwich ‘s stay is going well. “We have to keep spending money on our hotel and our food. We have enough to cover our expenses, but other people we’ve talked to have run out of money. We’re try to be more careful with our costs now. “

Jacob Melcer of Rehovot, who had arrived with his wife in Dubai on January 6, and was now engaged for more than two weeks longer than expected, was in response to the Darwich sentiment. “We feel that life is out of control now that we can’t go back to our country. We can’t afford to stay here for so long.”

Darwich said he would never be able to live forever. “I did aliya 6 years ago because I believed that Israel is the only safe place for Jewish people,” he said. “But the government has disappointed us, and I don’t think there’s a way to forget it.”