A month after the headlines were full of stories about hundreds of doctors, scientists and other professionals planning to 'relocate' (emigrate) due to the Israeli government’s presently discarded judicial upheaval, these peopleare now begging, by the thousands, to return home to Israel.
Unwavering national solidarity in this time of crisis
A private group called Returning Home is bringing Israeli physicians, soldiers and others back from the Far East, where these people are stranded. The group estimates that there are currently between 800 to 1,000 soldiers and doctors in the Far East alone who are trying to get back to Israel.
On Tuesday, the group brought back 59 soldiers, and on Thursday, it expects to fly in another 65. About 360 have registered to come back before the weekend. They reach Dubai and are then flown by the groupback to Israel.
The grassroots initiative, funded by donors, is functioning in coordination with the Israeli Consulate in Dubai. The volunteers have established a command center in Israel, and a volunteer network of over 50 people. “From the moment Israel called up its army reservists for duty a problem became apparent,” said Darren Rockman, who spoke for Returning Home. “Thousands of Israeli soldiers and doctors spread across the globe are marooned. They want to return home.” As most foreign airlines have suspended flights, the initiative seeks to provide creative solutions, logistical support, and assistance to facilitate these people's safe return. Liron Zaslansky, Israel’s Consul-General in Dubai, is co-managing the task force, which is chartering flights and purchasing tickets. Within 24 hours, the task force established a control center, volunteer network and a fundraising effort in partnership with La'Aretz, a US-based nonprofit organization.
The first group of 59 soldiers landed at Ben-Gurion Airport and rushed to their army bases. Flights are expensive, but the group is ensuring that every soldier can return home. For security reasons, flight details remainconfidential.