High Court Wants Interior Ministry to Explain Its Reason for Refusing Tourist Visa to Lansky

The Supreme Court today gave the Interior Ministry 30 days to explain why it has refused to grant a tourist visa to Meyer Lansky. The 80-year-old Lansky appealed to the court to help him obtain a one-month visa, claiming that two months ago Interior Minister Yosef Burg had agreed to a visa but then reversed himself.

Lansky was in Israel 10 years ago but was deported after several months because of his reputed association with organized crime in the United States. His deportation followed requests by the American government. He was sought by U.S. authorities for alleged tax evasion. His appeal against the deportation was rejected and the Interior Ministry refused to allow him to return, even for a visit.

Lansky’s attorney told the court today that his client “is an old Jew, suffering from cancer and other serious ailments. He has a strong Jewish conscience and would like with all his heart to visit Israel before his death.” The attorney also said that it was inconceivable that a one-month visit could cause harm to the State or to the public welfare of Israel.

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