Just in: At 21:50 Israeli time, Yoel Zev Goldstein, Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava, arrived at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel after Korean Air flight KE957 via Seoul, South Korea, landed in Terminal 3, Matzav.com has confirmed.
Together with Yoel Zev on the flight were his father, Rabbi Nezri, and a friend of the family who spent many months visiting the bochurim during the last three years.
This morning, Japan time, security personnel from the deportation division of the Immigration Center in Japan escorted Yoel Zev from the Tokyo Immigration Centre to Narita International Airport. At the airport, he was detained in an immigration cell until the boarding time of his flight out of Japan.
Reflecting on the last minutes in japan, Rabbi Aron Nezri related, “We were nervous during the half hour prior to flight departure. Yoel Zev had not arrived yet at the boarding gate. After some frantic high-level phone calls, it was confirmed to us that he is checked-in, though he had not yet been seen.”
Approximately five minutes before scheduled departure time, Yoel Zev arrived at the aircraft and boarded alongside Rabbi Nezri, who was nervously awaiting his arrival.
After all passengers already boarded, Yoel Zev was brought to the door of the aircraft flanked by two officials from the Tokyo Immigration Office.
Once Yoel Zev boarded the aircraft, he was a free man.
“Contrary to some rumors,” related Rabbi Bindinger, “no country sought the extradition of Yoel Zev.”
“We exercised great caution when selecting what kosher food Yoel Zev would eat during his flight to freedom,” said Rabbi Bindinger, “after not having consumed a morsel of poultry and meat for almost three and a half years.”
“We won’t easily forget the electrifying moment when the judges proclaimed in Japanese, ‘You are innocent,’ and the court appointed translator repeating to Yoel Zev ‘Atah zakai,’ said Rabbi Nezri, his voice full of emotion. “May we all be zocheh bedin during the upcoming Yemei Hadin and may we hear only besuros tovos and simchos in our midst.”