No Saudi Visit for Us

Via Brian’s Study Breaks, it seems that the Saudis are doing what they do best.

Saudi Arabia is barring visits by Jews after launching a new visa scheme to try to attract more tourists. The Saudi tourism department website said tourist visas would not be issued to Israeli passport holders or Jews.

Earlier this month, it began a drive to attract more foreign visitors by issuing visas to non-Muslim tourists for the first time. It has traditionally only issued visas for work purposes, officially-approved visits and pilgrimage to Mecca.

There has not previously been an explicit ban on Jews travelling to Saudi Arabia, though people with Israeli passports or with Israeli stamps in their documents, have not been allowed in.

A page on the Supreme Commission for Tourism website originally said visas would not be issued to Israeli passport holders or those with a passport containing an Israeli stamp; “those who don’t abide by the Saudi traditions concerning appearance and behaviours”; “those under the influence of alcohol”; or “Jewish people”.

The page was later amended, removing details of the restrictions.

That is clear and open anti-semitism and par for the course for the Saudis.

I have dropped Saudi Arabia from the list of countries we would like to visit one day. Granted it was at number 80 or so on that list. Having a restriction against Jews is unconscionable.

The Saudi Commission for Tourism website had this cryptic explanation:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s visa regulations are available at the Kingdom’s Consulates. When erroneous information was noticed on SCT’s website, it was removed. SCT regrets any inconvenience this may have caused.

برائن سے مجھے پتہ چلا کہ سعودی حکومت اپنے کرتوتوں سے باز نہیں آ سکتی۔ بی بی سی کے مطابق سعودی عرب اب غیرمسلموں کو بھی سیر و سیاحت کے لئے ویزا دے گا- مگر اس اجازت سے کچھ لوگ مستثنی ہوں گے: اسرائیلی پاسپورٹ کے حامل اشخاص، جن کے پاسپورٹ پر اسرائیلی ویزا کی مہر ہے، وہ لوگ جو لباس وغیرہ میں سعودی طور طریقوں کا لحاظ نہیں کر سکتے، جو شراب کے نشے میں ہوں یا یہودی لوگ۔

یہ فہرست سعودی کمیشن براۓ سیاحت کے ویب سائٹ پر موجود تھی- مگر اب وہاں نہیں ہے۔

یہ سعودی حکومت کی یہودیوں سے نفرت کا ایک اور نمونہ ہے۔

یہ خبر سن کر میں نے فیصلہ کیا ہے کہ میں سعودی عرب کو ان ملکوں کی فہرست سے نکال رہا ہوں جہاں ہم کسی دن جانے کا ارادہ رکھتے ہیں۔ اس سے پہلے بھی سعودی عرب اس فہرست میں بہت پیچھے تھا۔

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

10 thoughts on “No Saudi Visit for Us”

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  2. Well, this is as you say, par for the course by the Saudis. During Gulf War I, the US troops had problems with their soldiers who were Jewish since they were allowed in but as there were some restrictions on the ability to conduct non-Islamic religious ceremonies (particularly Jewish ones) any US troops wishing to carry out such ceremonies had to be ferried by helicopter to Jordan and other neighbouring states to preserve the ‘sanctity’ of Saudi Arabian soil. Which put the US in an awkward position trying to walk the tightrope; still I guess for those fundamentalists like OBL even allowing such troops into Saudi kingdom was the last straw. Disgusting really.

  3. I agree completely with you. It’s time to boycott racist countries and trip only in places where all human beings are equal and women not discriminated. Thank you. ( I found your nice blog navigating among links of “Dynamist” site. I’m italian, and I’ve a personal weblog too ). Ciao
    Mario

  4. Just wondering people from how many nationalities are allowed into Israel and into the Al-Aqsa mosque? Anyone care to throw light?

    Mario wrote: It’s time to boycott racist countries and trip only in places where all human beings are equal and women not discriminated.

    Ah! And where is the country where ALL human beings are equal???

  5. Mario: Thanks. I also visited your weblog but unfortunately I don’t know Italian.

    Munira: Just wondering people from how many nationalities are allowed into Israel.

    According to my knowledge, Israel does not bar people of any nationality from visiting Israel. Obviously they (like every other country) have a visa policy which varies depending on one’s citizenship. Since quite a lot of Muslim countries have no diplomatic relations with Israel, there is an issue there.

    You are sidetracking the problem though. All countries of the world discriminate in some sense on citizenship. For example, visa requirements vary by citizenship. If the Saudis want to bar Israelis, that is their prerogative (I might disagree). However, they are putting restrictions on all Jews. Israel does issue visas and lets in Muslim visitors.

    Al-Aqsa mosque?

    Again a false dichotomy. Anyone who visits Israel can go to Al-Aqsa mosque. Heck, the mosque is run by a Muslim board. Saudis are not just talking about Masjid al-Haram in Makkah but all over the country.

  6. Yehudi verboten!

    Via Zack’s weblog (via Brian): Jews barred in Saudi tourist drive. How many ways can you say repulsive? People should start sending pig-shit packages to Saudi embassies around the world….

  7. Oh dear, my trip is off! And I was just getting fitted for my burqa at the local rent-a-tent.

    Just wondering people from how many nationalities are allowed into Israel and into the Al-Aqsa mosque? Anyone care to throw light?

    Anyone can visit Israel although certain nationalities do get, um, questioned more thorougly. I was questioned thoroughly because my real surname could be Arabic/Muslim.

    I believe that according to Jewish law, Jews can’t go on the Temple Mount. Ariel Sharon’s visit violated that law.

  8. Diana: according to Jewish law, Jews can’t go on the Temple Mount.

    Is that the belief of most Jews still? I had the impression that only a minority/sect still observed that rule.

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