Jordan Turns Israelis Away For Being Too Jewish?

Jordan has prevented Orthodox Jewish Israelis from entering the country in recent weeks for fear they will be the targets of terrorist attacks, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Israeli and Jordanian authorities have been in contact over the Jordanian policy not to admit Israelis who wear the Orthodox Jewish garb of prayer fringes and skullcaps, ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.

Jordan on Monday refused to allow a group of eight Israeli tourists from entering the country after an inspection at the border crossing revealed prayer shawls and phylacteries.

One of the tourists, Yoram Cohen, told Army Radio that Jordanian border inspectors prevented their entry into the country from the moment it became clear the tour group was religious.

“During the border inspection, prayer shawls and phylacteries were found. When they asked us what they were, we said we were religious. They then told us, ‘Okay, go on home.’ On the Israeli side it became clear to us that [the Jordanians] are not letting religious tourists enter,” Cohen said.

The head of the Foreign Ministry’s Arab media division, Amira Oron, said “it is possible to understand the Jordanian fears but we nevertheless do not agree to such limitations and we are seeking, via diplomatic means, to alter the Jordanian decision.” [source]

First, I donâ??t know how viable this information is as it comes by way of Israeli media so Iâ??ll take it with a grain of salt.

Second, I was reading the comments by some of the Haartz readers on the site. These comments include the following: outrageous, pathetic, Idiots, Ignorant Racism, Boycott Petra, etc.

Itâ??s so strange to me that this would happen. Why turn them away? If Jordan lets in so many Israeli tourists into the country what the difference between the â??religiousâ? ones as opposed to the â??unreligiousâ?.

Actually that was a rhetorical question. The answer is of course they donâ??t want Jordanians to identify them as Israeli tourists and â??religiousâ? Jews come with symbols; the outer wear. And that will make them stick out like sore thumbs where they would ordinarily pass as European tourists.

The Jordan government is very separate from the Jordan street. Itâ??s not just disconnected but thereâ??s actually a huge gap between the two. The government may have signed a peace deal with Israel but the Jordanian street is far from accepting that. And while this relative peace is there for strictly diplomatic benefits of both governments, I donâ??t believe it should be forced upon the Jordanian people, many who have roots in Palestine. To the Jordanian government Israel is a peace partner, to the Jordanian people Israel is an occupier; they remain a historical and on-going symbol of terror and destruction. As peace partners Iâ??m sure the respective diplomats have no problem sitting together around conference tables and sharing Pepsis, but as symbols walking around in Jordan I donâ??t think the people will share that same reaction.

As for these tourists, let them in I say. If something should happen to them then Israelis will stop coming to Jordan. And if we loose money then we loose money. Itâ??s not worth the hassle.
I just donâ??t want to see the day when 8 Israelis are walking down the streets of Amman surrounded by a 20 armed Jordanian police escorts beating up any Jordanians who look twice.
If the government is separated from the street then keep them separated. At least until we get to that historical tipping point when the people force their will on the government.

That last sentence was not revolutionary in any way. Itâ??s just the way it should be everywhere in the world; itâ??s the point of government.


  • i 100% agree with u. let them come and let the masses deal with them in their own way. our letting them walk the streets of Jordan as any other tourist group gives our government the wrong impression, that we actually dont mind having them there or that we have mass ammnesia. let them in, a couple get killed and no more come back. problem solved. right?

  • Who knows if this is true or not. I know the Israelis are MUCH more strict as to who enters their country. When you hit the airport, or of course border crossings, you are often subjected to long interogation sessions by Israeli intelligence.

  • Please. i would be extremely depressed to see jews in jordan. jews are the international money grabbers. and we are a poor poor country. please leave us alone. you already occupy our land palestine and the western hemisphere.

  • I say strip search them 😀

    I think they should be made to sign a waiver at the border, waiving their and their family’s right to hold the Jordanian government responsible for any harm that could come their way while inside Jordan. They should be interrogated and asked all sorts of unnecessary questions, and they should be made to wait for like 5 long hours before somebody comes and speaks to them.


  • Hamzeh wake up!, see this is what happens when you don’t drink coffee 😀

    I honestly doubt they were inspected in the first place, I mean if it actually happened then today is one of those very few and distant days during which my hope is returned to me.

    Anyway, I think if they are extremists, they shouldn’t be allowed in at all. In the worst scenario, they have to be interrogated and dealt with as potential threats to Jordan’s security.

  • I do agree with Sugarcubes, its not only for their security but also for ours:???: Mentioning security for Jews, a Hotel well known for hosting Jews in Irbid is now guarded 24 hours by police cars. It has always been but now there is an additional one and the roads to it are closed for cars. So its already happening 🙂

  • Thousands of Palestinians are denied entry every day into territory that is rightfully theirs via checkpoints and border crossing controls that are controlled by the whims of 18 (or thereabouts) year old IDF soldiers. If Israel and the United States are wise enough to know who should and should not be allowed entry into their countries (as are other countries that reserve the right to deny anyone any type of visa without disclosing the reasons for doing so), then Jordan as well should be trusted to make that kind of decision. ‘Homeland security’ is what it’s all about these days, right? (Although in this case if this story is true, it may have been for the tourists’ security as well).
    Having said the above, I can also see the point of saying ‘Ok, why not let them in, and if they don’t like their experience, they will just leave and not come back.’ However, historically, Israelis have not been known to give up that easily, and the presence of Orthodox Jews as tourists is something I’m not sure Jordan is ready for.
    Thanks for the post, this one has definitely got me thinking..

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