Netanyahu announces formation of ministerial team ‘for traveling to Uman’

Prime Minister Netanyahu announces the formation of a ministerial team to look into allowing pilgrims to fly to Uman for the Rosh Hashanah holiday, amid anger among Bratslav Hasidim at the premier after Ukraine barred foreign nationals from entering the country during September.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office says the team “will weigh the possibility of a draft [proposal] for traveling to Uman, under stringent restrictions of the authorities in Ukraine.”

The team will be headed by Likud Minister Ze’ev Elkin and include Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Science Minister Izhar Shay.

The statement says the decision to appoint Elkin as head of the committee was made in coordination with Edelstein and coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu, who has come out strongly against the pilgrimage, warning that returning travelers could spread COVID-19.

Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox allies have fumed at Gamzu over his opposition to the flights, with Health Minister Yaakov Litzman calling for him to resign. The Bratzlav Hasidic sect, whose founder Rabbi Nachman’s burial site is in Uman, have vowed to never back Netanyahu again.

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