southfield2The Jewish News received a note today from Ruchie Weisberg, who attempted to mail a package to Israel today but was told no by the Southfield Post Office on W. 11 Mile Road. “With no explanation other than they received an e-mail from ‘above’ not to accept packages to Israel,” Weisberg wrote. “They didn’t say whether this policy was for any other countries in the Mideast.”

A quick look online showed that no media announcement regarding such a policy was sent out by the U.S. Post Office, and a media relations officer I spoke with on the phone didn’t know anything about it.

After trying unsuccessfully to call the Southfield Post Office, I decided to go there in person. The woman I spoke with first told me that “No, we can’t accept packages to Israel because there’s a war there. There’s a note on the bulletin board.”

“Who’s the note from?” I asked.

“Let me go get our supervisor,” she said.

Twenty minutes later, a woman who identified herself only as the supervisor “Tina” came out. “Yes, we had a note not to send things to Israel, but the ban has since been lifted.” She would only say the note had come from her “management.”

According to a JTA story, the metropolitan Detroit regional office of the U.S. Postal Service issued a clarification to the post office after the refusal by the Southfield Post Office became public.

Ed Moore, a spokesman for USPS in the region, said Thursday that the inaccurate information shared with clients reflected a misunderstanding; during a 36-hour Federal Aviation Administration ban on flights to Tel Aviv last week, USPS offices had been instructed to tell clients that Global Express mail was unavailable, and the Southfield branch had taken that notice to mean that all mail was banned.

“We apologized for any inconvenience for our customers,” Moore told JTA. “We put out a message to post offices throughout the Detroit metro area.”

Jackie Headapohl | Managing Editor