Sent home on next flight over wrong papers

A MANCHESTER businessman has hit out after he claimed he was refused entry into Israel.

Joel Tobias said he was immediately sent back to the UK on a return flight from Ben-Gurion Airport after being told he did not have the correct documentation, which he does not dispute.

Mr Tobias, who has two children living in the Jewish state, initially refused to re-board the plane, but was warned he would be permanently banned from Israel if he did not leave.

He said: “As a passionate Zionist for the whole of my life, I am appalled at the lack of assistance, clarity, empathy, sympathy and concern given to foreign nationals trying to visit their family in Israel.

“The process is unclear, disjointed and ridiculously complicated.

“Israel has repatriated Jewish people during Operation Entebbe, from Ethiopia, in covert missions and from all over the world, but it is now doing everything it can to exclude families from visiting their loved ones when most other countries are providing a simplistic process to enable travel, for anyone, across their borders.

“I have visited several destinations over the past few months, including America, by following straightforward and quick processes that enabled entry.

“I have two adult children living in Israel and, prior to Covid-19, I visited them every four weeks for at least 15 years. I have visited more than 150 times in the last 15 years.

“I own an apartment in Netanya and I also rent an apartment long term, and continued to do so during the pandemic.”

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