Carmiel Funeral for 'non-Jewish' Tiberias Woman

MK Pines-Paz: Rabbinic institutions treat immigrants as second-rate citizens even when they're dead.

A Tiberias woman will be buried at a Carmiel cemetery and not in her hometown, because authorities have deemed she is not Jewish, and there is no non-Jewish cemetery in the lakeside town.

Maria Paprutzki died last Friday at age 90. Her family has been looking for a place to bury her since then.

Many families that are not considered Jewish by the authorities face this problem.

"The rabbinic institutions treat many immigrants as second-rate citizens even when they're dead," said MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor). "This incident in Tiberias and the fact that the deceased may not be buried beside her family illustrate the denigrating treatment and the trials and tribulations many immigrants receive, through no fault of their own."

"These immigrants, who are an integral part of the Jewish nation and the State of Israel, deserve their rights," he added. "They have tied their fate to ours out of choice, and should live among us as equals and receive a proper and respectful burial."

A new cemetery was built in Tiberias a few years ago. While a law stipulates that non-religious plots must be allocated at new cemeteries, this was not done.

Tiberias municipal authorities have contacted the Interior Ministry, asking it to allocate land for a non-religious cemetery at a cost of NIS 1.5 million.

Some sources say the cost is so high due to ultra-Orthodox demands that it be located far from the Jewish cemetery.