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January 28, 2019

Faisal didn’t contact us for securing Israeli visa: Palestine embassy


January 28, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The embassy of Palestine in Islamabad cannot get visa for a Pakistani Jew Faisal Khalid who has adopted Yiddish name Fishel for visiting Israel as he is aspiring to visit Jerusalem for performing Jewish prayers.

The Charged Affairs of Palestine embassy told The News/Jang on Saturday here that Fishel hasn’t contacted the embassy for securing Israeli visa but in case he obtains ‘no objection certificate’ from authorities in Pakistan, the embassy could request its administration in Ramallah for a reference to the Israeli authorities since the Palestine is still in occupation of Israel.

The Charged Affairs reminded that any Pakistani who intends to visit Palestine could be accommodated but Israel can create hurdle even in that case. He reminded that it isn’t an easy proposition but Palestine authorities are willing to help the person.

Karachi based Faisal Ben Khalid has recently adopted the Yiddish first name “Fishel.” He was born in Karachi in 1987, the fourth of five children born to a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. Though registered at birth as Muslim, he considers himself Jewish and is now fighting for state recognition of his chosen religion, an apostasy.

As an adult Fishel chose the same path as his father and became an engineer, also taking short-term positions abroad. Anti-Semitism is the reason, he says, he spends as much time away from his native Pakistan as he can. But he is about to complete a contract in Tunisia, and is now preparing to returning Pakistan. Fishel told an Israeli journalist the other day that he wants to observe the Passover (Pesach) Seder in Jerusalem in April, and as the situation stands at the moment, he is unable to do so. But we need to realize that even though laws are not meant to be broken, they are supposed to evolve, so that any flaws can be ironed out over time. If the lawmakers today realise how the law banning Pakistanis from travelling to Israel, despite their desire to just perform a religious pilgrimage, is contradictory to the rights highlighted in the constitution, then I implore them to amend the laws accordingly, he added.

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