Talk:Visa trouble

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Israel / Antisemitic countries Visa trouble[edit]

Swept in from the pub

We have an article on avoiding a transit of the United States, so this is not unprecedented. As it now stands we mention in some country pages, that they absolutely don't admit anyone who has any kind of evidence (however circumstantial) of having traveled to Israel, while the reverse is not true. Some countries (I think it was Iran) even issue passports with the words "this passport is valid for travel to every country except Israel" (which if it is formulated that way is a tacit acknowledgement that despite their best efforts the Jewish state still exists). I think the scope of such an article would be:

  • which countries are known to make trouble if there is evidence of travel to Israel
  • How you can avoid producing evidence for travel to Israel
  • How travel to Israel is possible if your country of origin doesn't allow it (if it is possible at all) (somewhat analogous to Americans in Cuba)
  • How you get two passports (a frequent method of having the "toxic" Israel stamp in one and the visas for antisemitic countries in another passport) and which countries allow that
  • What problems (if any) you will face if your passport shows evidence of travel to antisemitic countries upon arrival in Israel (I think the thing that will most likely happen is extended questioning and heightened security, which - while unpleasant - is not all that bad)

A note to avoid a flame-war: the term "antisemitic-countries" is used by me in this context to refer to the blatantly antisemitic anti-Israel policy of a handful of countries when dealing with travelers that are in any way shape or form connected to Judaism, Israel or travel to or through this country. It does not imply or generalize anything about the citizens or the inhabitants of said country or countriesHobbitschuster (talk) 13:35, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

To be brief, I think it could be an extremely useful article but should be carefully written, for the same reasons you found it necessary to include the disclaimer at the end of your post. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 13:43, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
It would be preferable to use "Arab boycott of Israel" or similar terms instead of "anti-semitic" to make clear that this is primarily political in nature. The objective is to fight over control of land in the Middle East; religion just makes a convenient dividing line to fuel the conflicts. K7L (talk) 14:15, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
While Iran has an ethnically Arab minority (one of the reasons for the war between Saddam and Khomeini) and Farsi has a lot of Arab loanwords (or so I've been told), it is not Arab in any way shape or form, but still extremely hostile towards Israel. And I think I heard something about North Korea doing the same. And while it is neither the place nor the time to debate this (and beyond the scope of a travel guide) I do think it has to do more with Antisemitism than with who owns what land. The only countries that "lost" land to Israel in a sorta kinda way (except Syria, but there seems to be no Syrian government to speak of) Jordan and Egypt are also among the few countries that made peace with Israel at least on paper. Anyway, we should focus on what is relevant to the traveler. And what is relevant is that some countries make a fuzz about people how are Jews or Israelis or have been to Israel, this I think we should mention and I think we should make and article on this subject, and yes we should proceed with caution, because this issue is way more emotional for most of the world than say... the Rwandan genocide. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:32, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
We could make a general article on the topic, and therethrough we need to write less about the hot topic of Israel vs. its neighbors. Azerbaijan is almost as anti-Armenian, and at least Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine (how about Georgia (country)?) apparently also have restrictions on some passport stamps or lack of them.--ϒpsilon (talk) 15:10, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
A bit more clarification, Indonesia and Malaysia also have similar entry restrictions for Israeli passports and they are not Arab countries Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:15, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
If I don't misunderstand it, the situation with the countries that User:Ypsilon has described seems to be mostly those sorta kinda de facto countries that are for whatever reason not recognized and get you in trouble in the countries which they "totally belong to" (read: not at all) and breakaway regions such as Crimea that were annexed conquered or otherwise forcibly made part of another politic entity. With Israel we have a whole bunch of countries, including as User:Andrewssi2 thankfully pointed out places that have never even been at war with Israel and don't claim any land in the general vicinity of the Jordan river or the Mediterranean sea. While I do think we have to improve and update our coverage on visa issues one might run into after having been to Nagorno Karabakh or Crimea (the latter being more likely than the former, at least once the major fighting dies down) the whole "we hate Israel" movement didn't arise yesterday and will unfortunately probably keep harassing travelers, Jews and traveling Jews for quite some time. Also while (at least in theory) Transnistria could for example disintegrate or be recognized tomorrow, bearing a major revolution in Tehran the Iranian policy towards Israel will not change in the foreseeable future. Therefore on this front at least I do think it is our biggest fish to fry and we can deal with the minor visa issues later. Either by expanding the article that was originally about issues related to Israel or by updating the various country articles or by writing (a) new article(s) on the various conflicts. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:42, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
[Edit conflict:]Probably the most useful way to deal with this topic is to make it a general one, with specifics covered in different sections. The topic could be phrased something like Visa restrictions based on travel to unrecognized countries, but a more specific Countries barring entry to travellers to Israel (or "from Israel") topic would be fine, too. I don't think we need to take a position on the extent to which such restrictions are based on hatred toward Jews, rather than pure opposition to Israel and/or unpopularity of Israel in particular countries, but I'd observe that there are no restrictions whatsoever on the entry of Jews with citizenship in countries other than Israel to countries like Malaysia, but Saudi Arabia may be another story. I'm not sure how difficult it is for Israelis to visit Indonesia; I thought it was easier for them to get there than to Malaysia. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:49, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Although Indonesia is a (officially) secular country, it doesn't have diplomatic relations with Israel meaning that Isreali passport holders need to apply for a special visa from the Indonesian Immigration department. Maybe not a draconian as some middle-eastern countries, but seems like a de-facto restriction nevertheless. Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:54, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
It's a de jure restriction. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:38, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Just wondering... might Hebrew Wikivoyage already have such an article that could be translated? Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:54, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
My only comment is to say that I strongly object to the use of "antisemitic" in this context. It is entirely possible to be anti-Zionist and/or opposed to some Israeli policies and actions without being antisemitic; indeed I have seen reports of a group of Orthodox Jews who are fervently anti-Zionist. Pashley (talk) 00:49, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Also worth noting that although generally understood in the West to be specifically about Jews, Semitic-speaking people are actually a broader range of people in the middle-east and north Africa that includes Arabs. Therefore using the term 'anti-Semitic' in the context of the above discussion is not accurate. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:33, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Andrewssi2, although it might not be factually correct to say "Anti-Semitic" in this context (because technically Arabs are Semitic people too), nevertheless, it is a fact that in some countries around the world I would get into serious trouble just for being of Jewish ethnicity + because of growing up in Israel, due to various long ongoing tensions, political reasons, history. For the same reasons these countries don't want Israeli-Jews to even think of going there, many of these countries also try to prevent people with an Israeli affiliation to travel freely into their countries (to my understanding this is somewhat a result of fears from Israeli spies, collaborators, or secret counter-terrorist agents acting within their borders - see Lavon Affair + 1997 Khaled Mashal assassination attempt + Assassination of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh). In the recent decades there has also been cases of non-Jewish Israelis whom got into serious trouble in middle eastern countries, most likely ONLY because of their Israeli citizenship (see Azzam Azzam). There was also the Ilan Grapel affair in which a naive Jewish American, whom only got his Israeli citizenship a few years earlier, got into serious trouble in Egypt when the Egyptian authorities arrested him on charges of fomenting unrest in Egypt as a Mossad agent in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
At the Hebrew Wikivoyage we have not yet created any Travel topic article devoted to this important topic (I would definitely get to creating it eventually), although, when we do eventually create such an article, I estimate it would probably only focus on presenting information about the countries which don't allow Israelis to enter their borders, and it would probably not focus on how a certain group of countries would not allow the entrance to non-Israelis if they have an Israeli stamp in their passport (simply because such an article would be of no value to 99.9% of Hebrew speakers whom are Israeli citizens).
Either way, by making a couple of searches on Google I have found the following articles which seem to fully address this topic.
I hope this help. ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 03:21, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
[edit conflict:]Can we please not argue about what "anti-Semitic" means? The term was invented by a 19th-century German Jew-hater as a substitute for "Judenhass"="Jew-hatred", substituting "Semite" to use as a "racial" term to define the new racist form of Jew-hatred, and had nothing to do with the linguistic or Biblical classification of Semites as including Arabic, Amharic, etc.
Pashley is of course right, but there's a big difference between being strongly opposed to policies of the Netanyahu government and supporting the abolition of Israel and dispersion of its Jewish majority to who knows where, or worse, and since the whole point of this site's Wikivoyage:Be fair policy is not to have these kinds of arguments, that's all I'm going to say in reply. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:26, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Ikan Kekek, please read my comment again (you can also read History of the Arab–Israeli conflict + History of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict to be more informed about why this is not just resistance to the Netanyahu government polices). I was hoping that my comment above + the links I supplied would help us focus less on the Antisemitism part of this topic, and more on the actual facts relating to how a certain group of countries would not allow the entrance to non-Israelis if they have an Israeli stamp in their passport. I think it is important to stick to the facts about this topic instead of writing that specific governments are Antisemitic or hate Israel (because the truth is more complicated than those simplifications). ויקיג'אנקי (talk) 03:36, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
ויקיג'אנקי, I wasn't addressing you because you were posting while I was trying to post my previous reply. :-) Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:42, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
But just to add: I do agree with you. I posted this upthread: "I don't think we need to take a position on the extent to which such restrictions are based on hatred toward Jews, rather than pure opposition to Israel and/or unpopularity of Israel in particular countries..." Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:46, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
[unindent] Strongly suggest those who have an interest in this subject go forth and create an Article about it. The discussion above doesn't need to be extended on the Traveler's Pub. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:25, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
As soon as we agree on a name for said article... And its scope. I would suggest for starters to have it called "Visa problems related to travel to Israel" or sth. like that and deal with the situation regarding Israel and its enemies exclusively and issues related to other countries or pairs of countries to be dealt with later. Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:40, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Create a page called Travel concerns for Israeli passport holders or similar. You can easily change the name later.
By using the term 'anti-Semitic' in the header of this section you have invited a known unsavory aspect of Internet discourse to happen on WV. I'd appreciate it greatly if it was moved away and in a positive direction. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:37, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Andrewssi2 that we should not use loaded terms. As a Wikimedia site we should just expose the facts without trying to judge who is right/wrong and whether people's motives are political/etc. Just expose the daily life impact on travellers, and give tips on how to avoid unfortunate consequences. I suggest making the article cover not only Israeli passports but also Israeli stamps, so how about Travelling with an Israeli passport or visa? Nicolas1981 (talk) 01:38, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. The whole point of the Wikivoyage:Be fair policy is to avoid political arguments to the extent possible and just present facts that are relevant for travellers. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:46, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Yeah sorry User:Andrewssi2 the choice of words for the headline was not the best. But I think we must find a title for the article that is a) concise b) mentions who is concerned by this (everybody who has been or plans to go to Israel and a number of countries, some of them Arab) and c) doesn't violate any policies and doesn't incite any kind of unneeded or unwanted political discussion. I think User:Nicolas1981 has made a suggestion that while good can still be improved upon. Thoughts? Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:38, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
I think that Travelling with an Israeli passport or visa is a fine article title. All that remains is to write the article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:21, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Related Q/A: Nicolas1981 (talk) 05:49, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

I created a page under the name Visa trouble but it needs work. Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:10, 14 April 2015 (UTC)


I wanted to put this page into the Category:Preparation but this does not seem to work. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:21, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Visiting a country a crime under domestic law[edit]

I recently heard from a Lebanese (dual?) citizen that visiting Israel is a crime under Lebanese law. Should we give advice for cases like that? And would it even be possible for a Lebanese citizen to travel to Israel with a Lebanese passport? Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:13, 24 May 2018 (UTC)