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Roadblocks on the Long Way to Israel

Today in the Former Soviet Union, Jewish applicants for repatriation face the Israeli consular policy of verbal refusals with no written explanation, which means a lack of transparency.

Moreover, take a look inside what the process is like for applicants trying to come home via the Moscow consulate of Israel:

Appointments must be made by phone during very limited hours.

The phone lines at the consulate often go unanswered.

Questions about needed documents are referred to the website.

Not all frequently requested documents are listed.

It can take months to get an appointment.

Applicants are all given the same appointment time, 9:00AM.

All applicants must form a line (some arriving as early as 7:00AM at the consulates, in rain, snow, sleet, or hail) and wait to be allowed into the consulate.

Once inside the Moscow consulate, applicants must rush to the window get an application, fill it out, and return it. They are made to wait until their name is called. There are no numbers and no estimation of the wait.

In the Moscow consulate, there is no food vending machine, and the water cooler is filled up only occasionally. Applicants can’t step outside for food for fear of missing their name being called.

A guard keeps the door locked and escorts people out for bathroom breaks (restroom facilities are in a shed-like structure).

Applicants are often surprised with more documents needed at their appointment, with the next one months away.

Help a Jew – Help the Holy Land was established to help Jews appeal verbal refusals and to press the Israeli government to increase transparency by issuing written refusals. Learn more about our programs here.

“Essentially, all Jews everywhere are Israeli citizens by right”

Israeli Parliament, 1950