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The Weekend Journal: April 13-15, 2007

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Israel, Land of Denials

From Haaretz: “Israel has refused entry to the Muslim wife of a Jewish immigrant from Iran.
The wife is currently in Turkey but could be sent back to Iran within days, where she is likely to be severely punished. The immigrant, Puriya Hajaram on Thursday appealed to Haaretz for help in bringing his wife to Israel. "I was told before coming that I would get help here. Otherwise I wouldn't have come alone," he said. Hajaram, 23, left Iran with his wife, R., for fear of being drafted into the Iranian army. The two crossed the border to Turkey illegally. They went to the Israeli consulate, where they were told that only Hajaram could get an entrance visa to Israel because his family lives here. His wife remained in a cheap hotel in Istanbul waiting for a permit to join her husband."From the first day we left until four days ago she hasn't left the hotel. She has no passport," he said. A few days ago she was caught by the Turkish police. Hajaram said she was arrested when she left her room to take a shower. The Turkish police now intend to deport her to Iran. "I pray and beg they don't deport her. The Torah says that if someone needs help we must help him," he said. Officials at the Jewish Agency and Israeli consulate promised him that he would be able to send for his wife once he immigrated, he said. He arrived eight months ago, went to an ulpan and now speaks broken Hebrew. From the moment he could, Hajaram has been trying to bring his wife to Israel. "I went back and forth to offices and in the end they wrote to me that there is a security problem. I know there is no such problem, I know my wife and her family and none of them work for the government," he said. The Interior Ministry said that Puriya's wife was refused entry for security reasons. The Shin Bet commented that "according to the security standards, this case does not enable entry to Israel."

 

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