Ongoing Communication Disruptions in Israel

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As I mentioned a few days ago, the current conflict is interfering with Internet service in Israel — especially international connectivity, much of which goes through Haifa. Fortunately, none of our developers there have reported trouble.

Meanwhile, postal mail from Westchester & Rockland Counties (think Monsey) was briefly interrupted on Friday:

U.S. Postal Service authorities said yesterday that the error that caused a temporary embargo to be placed on mail to Israel and Lebanon was the result of a misinterpreted e-mail by an employee from the agency’s regional office.

Pat McGovern, a spokeswoman for the U.S Postal Service, said someone in the agency’s West-chester district office erroneously sent out an e-mail after reading one that said the Beirut International Airport had closed after being badly bombed and that post offices in northern Israel had shut down after a state of emergency had been declared.

“The person made the assumption that we couldn’t go there,” McGovern said. “The person should not have done so. We apologize for any confusion made through this message.” …

Instead of trying to verify the contents of the e-mail, the employee sent out an e-mail to all post offices in the district Thursday saying that the embargo would take effect Friday.

The e-mail notice from the district office did not give a reason for an embargo, and on Friday inconvenienced people who visited the Monsey post office, which is in a predominantly Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish community…

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-Bronx, was so agitated by reports in The Journal News of a regional postal embargo, he demanded it be lifted on Sunday.

After hearing about the communication mistake early yesterday, Engel said he planned to make sure it didn’t happen again and urged that a uniform policy be put in place where any decision to have an embargo come from Washington, D.C., and not a regional office.

“We need to look into what the policy is and who makes the decision,” he said. “It should be a uniform policy. Not that my Rockland constituents can’t send mail, but my Bronx constituents can. It didn’t make sense.”

McGovern said she was not aware of any disciplinary actions taken against the employee.

“It was done innocently,” she said. “It was a mistake.”

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2 Responses

  1. Nachum says:

    Come to think, it’s not even the entire Charedi universe- think New Square.

  2. Nachum says:

    “Westchester & Rockland Counties (think Monsey)”

    Please tell me your universe, Jewish universe, or even Orthodox Jewish universe is not so small as to reduce Westchester and Rockland counties to “Monsey.” Please tell me you don’t assume your audience is of the same mind.