Yacimovich Castigated on Facebook for Tomato 'Smuggling'

Facebook user alerts MK to law forbidding travelers from bringing vegetables from abroad into Israel without Agriculture Ministry examination.

A Facebook post by Labor leader MK Shelly Yacimovich on Monday, in which she mentioned a tomato she had brought from France, triggered a debate in which some commenters castigated her for contraband.

Yacimovich returned late Sunday night from France, where she met French President Francois Hollande and other statesmen. She wrote on her Facebook page that she had surprised her younger daughter on the morning of the new school year with French toast she made and a tomato and cookies from France.

"You'd better erase that post, you're a legislator who doesn't know the law," one comment said. "You've committed an offense. Don't you know it's forbidden to bring vegetables from abroad without an examination of the Agriculture Ministry? Is this the way you want to lead the state?"

Other visitors defended Yacimovich. "So she brought a tomato. What's the big deal?" one wrote.

The Agriculture Ministry classifies bringing fruit or vegetables in as "smuggling."

Yacimovich commented: "I did return from Paris with a beautiful tomato for my daughter's breakfast. I didn't know about the regulations and regrettably the evidence has been eaten. I inquired at the Agriculture Ministry and was told there is no problem in bringing tomatoes ... but I should have gone to the vegetation inspector at Ben-Gurion airport and shown him the tomato."