The Interior Ministry and Jewish Agency must reconsider their decision not to allow Dale Streisand, a cousin of American singer Barbra Streisand, to immigrate to Israel, MK Ilan Ghilon (Meretz ) demanded over the weekend.
Dale Streisand's application for citizenship was apparently denied after a joint background check by the Interior Ministry and the Jewish Agency revealed that his Facebook profile had in the past featured a link to a Christian missionary website.
Streisand, 57, whose case was reported in Haaretz last Thursday, currently lives in the Philippines, where his wife is from. He had submitted his immigration application to the Jewish Agency last August. Several weeks after submitting the request, unexplained delays occurred in processing his visa.
He was ultimately told that his application was denied due to evidence from his Facebook profile indicating that he is Christian and believes in Jesus as the Messiah.
The primary evidence identified was the link on Streisand's page to a Christian missionary Website. The cousin of the iconic Jewish singer is adamant that there has been a mistake in the matter and that he is an adherent to Judaism. While he acknowledges that what was found does in fact relate to his past, he insisted it had no connection to his current identity.
Streisand added that he is a newly religious Jew who is studying Torah and wants to live in Israel and have his children grow up in a Jewish environment.
In a letter to Interior Minister Eli Yishai Ghilon wrote: "Mr. Streisand is entitled to immigrate to Israel pursuant to the Law of Return and there are no legal grounds to bar him from his wish."
"The reasons Mr. Streisand was refused in the past raise many questions regarding the Interior Ministry's conduct and the criteria upon which it examines applications," Ghilon continued, adding that a court petition would be filed if Streisand's application is not granted.
Nicky Maor, director of the immigrant assistance center for the Reform Jewish movement in Israel, said aliyah applications are being dealt with more rigorously out of concern that the Law of Return is being exploited by missionaries, particularly from the United States. She mentioned that this is not the first time Internet has been used in these more -rigorous background checks.
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