Israeli MKs Stranded in Poland Due to Plane Malfunction

Among those stuck in sub-freezing Poland are Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Labor leader Isaac Herzog.

Jonathan Lis
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Dozens of Knesset members who traveled to Poland for International Holocaust Remembrance Day are stranded in Krakow due to a malfunction that has grounded one of their planes, Army Radio reported on Tuesday.

A delegation of 54 Knesset members assembled at the gates of Auschwitz on Monday to tour the death camp, visiting the various exhibits, the Wall of Death and the museum in Hut 27.

The MKs were accompanied by some 250 other public figures, including 24 Holocaust survivors, State Comptroller Yosef Shapiro, Supreme Court Judge Elyakim Rubenstein, Chief Rabbi David Lau and Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev.

MK Michal Rosin (Meretz), one of the lawmakers stuck in sub-freezing temperatures in Poland, told Army Radio, "Everyone wants to drink and eat. Overall the atmosphere is fine; people are showing restraint," she said.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and the state comptroller are among those awaiting the arrival of an alternate plane. A second plane carrying other members of the delegation arrived at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Tuesday.

The problematic plane developed a leak after being over-fueled, Israel National news reported.

Some of the MKs and journalists stuck on the plane posted photographs and social media statuses while waiting for the problem to be worked out.

Bennett joked, "There's a slight chance that singer Amir Benayoun lost his hearing because of my snoring."

Bennett's Habayit Hayehudi colleague Ayelet Shaked, meanwhile, said, "We've been stuck on a plane at the military airport in Krakow for seven hours. When you return from Auschwitz, you learn to keep things in perspective and stay in a good mood. Michael Urich, who is sitting next to me, survived Buchenwald, and he is staying optimistic and keeping his spirits up."

Channel 2 News reporter Amit Segal wrote, "If we had a liter of fuel for every joke cracked, we would already have landed on the moon. But in the meantime we're stuck with a quarter of the Knesset at Krakow's military airport."

Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett and MK Ayelet Shaked on the plane in Poland. (From Shaked's Facebook)
Members of a Knesset delegation stand in front of former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.Credit: Reuters