What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
It does not terribly bother me that Jews aren’t welcome in Saudi Arabia and about 15 other Muslim countries. We Jews should return the favor to Muslims and advocate restrictions on their entrance to Western nations.
It’s well known among expats here that an Israeli stamp on your passport can get you denied entry to many countries in the Middle East.
With the tension between Israel and many countries in the Middle East, travel on an Israeli passport, unless previously arranged as part of a diplomatic mission, will likely subject you to intensive screening and refusal of a visa at the airport in the Gulf states, in less stable countries you might be arrested.
A visa application for tourism or work in the Middle East will ask for your religion. It is at this stage that the application for entrance into Saudi would likely be rejected, not at the airline. Note: It is completely acceptable to put ‘Non-Muslim’ in these visa documents. The airline would refuse to put you on the plane if you don’t have a visa, Saudi has a history of not giving you a visa if you’re Israeli or have israeli stamps…
1. Saudi has no diplomatic relations with Israel, and as such does not recognize Israeli passports. Mostly. There are occasional exceptions.
2. There are many Jews working in Saudi under the passports of many nationalities. The official position of the Saudi government is to not forbid Jews from Saudi.
Sixteen countries forbid admission to Israeli passport holders:
Iraq (except Iraqi Kurdistan)
Lebanon (neighboring country; territory dispute – Shebaa farms)
Malaysia (Clearance permit needed from the Ministry of Home Affairs.)
Pakistan (Clearance permit needed from the Ministry of Internal Security.)
Syria (neighboring country; territory dispute – Golan Heights)
United Arab Emirates (accepted for transit only; not allowed for admission)
In addition, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen do not allow entry to people with evidence of travel to Israel, or whose passports have either a used or an unused Israeli visa. As a consequence, many countries will allow for a second passport to be issued to citizens wishing to circumvent this restriction.
In January, Delta Airlines announced that Saudi Arabian Airlines is joining Delta’s SkyTeam network of international airline partners. Yesterday, WorldNet Daily reported that Delta employees would be enforcing a no-Jews policy when checking in passengers on SAA flights from the United States to Saudi Arabia.
I looked around the web for verification, and found the following: In 2004, a Saudi government website, promoting visits to Saudi Arabia, did state a “no Jews” policy. Apparently in response to extensive U.S. criticism, that statement was removed. The visa required for entry to Saudi Arabia mandates that the applicant disclose his or her religion. The typical advice for American visitors is to write “non-Muslim” or “Christian.” However, a 2007 article in Commentary magazine by scholar Joshua Muravchik reports on his recent visit to Saudi Arabia; he wrote “Jewish” on his visa application, and was nevertheless granted a Saudi visa.
It does seem to be widely reported, without contradiction, that Saudi authorities will deny visas to anyone who has an Israel entrance or exit stamp on his passport. This category would include not only Jews who have visited Israel, but also the many Christians who visit the Holy Land, as well as business travelers to Israel. Several other African and Asian governments apparently have similar policies.
At airport check-in in the United States, a responsibility of the U.S. airline which is checking in travelers for an international partner airline is to verify that the travelers have the appropriate documentation required by U.S. law (e.g., a passport) and by the foreign airline (e.g., an entry visa from the Saudi government).
The WND article reprints two letters from Delta Airlines to a person who raised questions about the above. Essentially, Delta’s position is that they just enforce whatever the destination government requires, and if you don’t like the destination government ‘s discrimination, go complain to the U.S. State Department.
I would have preferred an answer to the effect of “We have confirmed that Saudi Arabia does not discriminate against Jewish visitors, or people who have visited Israel, and we would never partner with an airline which would require us to enforce such reprehensible policies.”
Saudi Arabian Airlines is government-owned (with some ancillary services, such as catering, being privatized). Delta Airlines is exercising a choice to make its employees complicit in the enforcement of the Saudi government’s policies of hatred and discrimination against anyone who visits Israel. If Delta’s business alliance with the Saudi government is conditional on that government not reinstating a formal ban on all Jewish visitors, Delta has not taken the opportunity to say so. When I travel, I will exercise my own choice not to fly Delta.
The reasons for the exodus included push factors, such as persecution, antisemitism, political instability, poverty and expulsion, together with pull factors, such as the desire to fulfill Zionist yearnings or find a better economic status and a secure home in Europe or the Americas. The history of the exodus has been politicized, given its proposed relevance to the historical narrative of the Arab-Israeli conflict. When presenting the history, those who view the Jewish exodus as analogous to the 1948 Palestinian exodus generally emphasize the push factors and consider those who left as refugees, while those who do not, emphasize the pull factors and consider them willing immigrants.
I don’t think any people, including Jews, needs to give citizenship to people who hate them. Why should Israel (or the West) grant citizenship to Muslims or even allow them in? That makes no sense.