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Mar 17, 2021

Supreme Court rules against continued travel restrictions

The news is reporting that the Supreme Court has decided against the continued restrictions limiting Israelis abroad from returning to Israel.

The Court has decided that the State cannot limit Israelis like this and the restrictions are unreasonable. The current guidelines and orders regarding travel are due to expire on Shabbos, and the Court said they cannot be automatically extended. If the State wishes to extend the orders, it will have to reconvene and make new decisions base don current facts and numbers, and not rely on the previous orders.

The Court also shot down the exceptions committee that meets to decide who, among the non-vaccinated and non-recuperated, is allowed to leave the country and who is not.

These orders are illegal, according to the Court.

As of Sunday, the skies will be open for Israelis, though not yet for non-citizens.

In the past I opposed the limitations on travel abroad for Israelis. It made no sense to me that Israel should stop people from leaving the country and traveling abroad. The other countries should decide if it wants to let Israelis, or any non-citizens, in to their country. Why should Israel prevent an Israeli from traveling in a different country? I understand not letting them back in to Israel after such travel, and I understand requiring quarantine, but as long as the potential traveler knows in advance (and in cases of emergency situations even without prior knowledge) what returning would entail, it should be up to the Israeli to decide if he or she wants to leave Israel under those conditions and travel in other countries (and it should be up tot he other countries to decide to let these people in or not). So it looks like the Court agrees with me.

The Court said the limitations on travel are hurting basic rights of people in a democratic country, and the long amounts of time of keeping these restrictions in place has failed to allow citizens the time to organize and do what they need without knowing when the restrictions will be lifted.

Another interesting point the Court made is that with Corona not expected to just disappear from our lives, we need to find a balance between the danger of letting in unknown mutations and variants of the disease and between the damage of hurting basic rights of citizens and residents. We need to find the balance that will allow some semblance of normal life alongside the virus, with proper management of the various risks.

The blocks continue to fall. Pretty much everything is opening up and will be almost fully open soon. Whether the government likes it or not. Hopefully it won't create a bad situation.

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  1. Nobody elected them. Why should their opinions, not based on law, override the Knesset/government?

  2. So mass charedi weddings and davening in Schul should also be allowed since we need to find a balance. Maybe the Charedi parties should petition the Supreme Court in the future.

  3. I'm on the right and fully support this decision.


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