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ramifications of adding Israel to itinerary

I am considering adding Israel to my summer itinerary. I don’t know specifics on the limitations an Israeli stamp in ones passport places on future travel. I just hear all sorts of horror stories and amazing feats of political maneuvering.

So, I ask all you expert travelers, will I have issues going to Ethiopia from Israel with a US passport? If so, what do I do to avoid issues? I would be arriving in Israel from India. I have not been to the Middle East prior. The anecdotal responses I have so far range from, “That’s not going to work at all,” to “What are you talking about? You’ll have no problem!” I am confused. Anyone able to offer some insight?


by Ida at 2008-04-03 13:00:26 UTC (ed. May 6 2008 ) Brooklyn, NY , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

With an Israel entry visa stamp in your passport, you will NOT be able to enter Syria. That I am sure of, they are officially still at war. You will be able to enter Jordan no problem. I’m not sure about Iran, but my feeling is no. When you get to immigration at Tel Aviv airport, politely ask the inspector not to stamp your passport. They will oblige, but you will be pulled aside, possibly questioned, they will do a background check. Should take no more than 5 minutes unless you have a lot of stamps from other middle-east countries.

by [former member] | 03 Apr 2008 15:04 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
The assumption with Arab/Islamic states is that no, you cannot enter with a ‘Disneyland’ stamp unless there has been a specific peace treaty signed between that state and ‘Disneyland’ (i.e. Jordan and Egypt) – so, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and most others are off limits… The Gulf states vary a bit (maybe Kuwait is ok?? not sure on this one) but the assumption should be NO unless you can find specific information to the contrary. North African states are a bit more of a gray area in my understanding, Sudan is, I’m pretty sure, a NO, but Ethiopia and Somalia (and the other Horn states) I’m not sure…

I’ve also read that in the last 12 months the ‘Disneyland’ customs officials will no longer oblige in not stamping your passport, but if you have an electronic passport (i.e. one with a RFID tag, which will be a specifically labeled, ‘thick’ page inside your passport) – issued recently in most EU countries, Australia, UK, USA, etc, then they won’t need to stamp your passport as you’ll be ‘on the grid’ once you enter and then ‘off the grid’ once you exit ‘Disneyland’… so perhaps look into this and getting yourself an e-passport if you have time…

by Ed Giles | 03 Apr 2008 15:04 | Raiatea, French Polynesia | | Report spam→
Your right- an Israeli stamp may prevent you from entering Syria.
Iran on the other hand is no problem, there have been a lot more Israelis going into Iran than you think, and if an Israeli can go, then I’m sure an American with an Israeli stamp will have no problem what so ever…

by Che Kofif | 03 Apr 2008 16:04 (ed. Apr 19 2008) | Tel Aviv, Israel | | Report spam→
Northern Iraq (Kurdistan Regional Government) is OK with an Israeli stamp. It is true the border officials do not have to oblige but if you ask politely they might consider it. However be aware that they can pretend thry did not hear you or take your passport to another room, and then come back and tell you that the officer there did it. Before you give your passport ask politely if they are happy not to stamp. Good Luck;-) Oh and Syria will definately NOT accept it and I am 99% sure Lebabib too, however Egyot and Jordan are OK.

by [former member] | 03 Apr 2008 22:04 | Pristina, Kosovo | | Report spam→
Please also consider that depending on where your further travels take you, having an Israeli stamp in your passport may in some circumstances be not just impractical but potentially dangerous. It can certainly make encounters with bearded men with assault rifles unnecessarily exciting.

by Morten Hvaal | 04 Apr 2008 00:04 | Colombo, Sri Lanka | | Report spam→
Operation Orchard, early Sept. 2007: Israel bombs Syrian targets. That is war-like, and tensions remain high ever since.

by [former member] | 04 Apr 2008 19:04 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Even though Syria & Israel aren’t officially at war, the fact is Syria will probably prevent you from entering if you have an Israeli stamp…

by Che Kofif | 04 Apr 2008 22:04 (ed. Apr 19 2008) | Tel Aviv, Israel | | Report spam→
I just came from Israel and Ethiopia. Behind the US, you won’t find many countries as Israel-friendly as Ethiopia. Their ancestral ties to King Solomon is a thing of cultural pride.

To make things easy, I just got a 2nd passport. If you can’t get one in time, you can ask the Israelis to not stamp your passport without problems but if you pass through the Jordanian or Egyptian borders, you may get a border stamp which is a giveaway you were in Israel and will result in you not being allowed to enter some Islamic countries.

If you are going to Sudan also, I would hide any trace of having been in Israel. They are batshit crazy there, no nice way to put it.

by Tommy Huynh | 05 Apr 2008 03:04 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
Okay, as all the countries listed here as not liking Israel aren’t in my plans, I figure I’m fine. Thanks everyone for the detailed responses.

Don’t you need journalist credentials to get a second passport? I don’t have any right now, though I am sure I could get some if this is really a concern. As far as I can tell, I won’t need more than one passport for this trip.

by Ida | 05 Apr 2008 20:04 | Brooklyn, NY, United States | | Report spam→
The gov only issues a 2nd passport for 2 reasons:

1) You need a 2nd passport because 1 is tied up at a consulate for a visa and you need another visa
2) You are going to Israel

You can get it just fine. You may not need it for this trip but who knows if you will ever have to go to a Israel-unfriendly country, especially if you are a photographer.

by Tommy Huynh | 07 Apr 2008 00:04 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
You have two options. You can get a second passport, which isn’t a problem, or you can ask the Israelis not to stamp your passport, which they won’t do though they are likely to ask why. Just be straightforward with them.

by Todd Pitock | 06 May 2008 15:05 | Philadelphia, PA, Afghanistan | | Report spam→

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Ida, Media Strategist Ida
Media Strategist
Brooklyn , United States
Ed Giles, Photojournalist Ed Giles
Sydney , Australia
Che Kofif, Trying to figure out Che Kofif
Trying to figure out
[undisclosed location].
Morten Hvaal, Photographer Morten Hvaal
Oslo , Norway ( OSL )
Tommy Huynh, Travel & Corporate Photog Tommy Huynh
Travel & Corporate Photog
Houston , United States
Todd Pitock, reporter Todd Pitock
Philadelphia, Pa , Afghanistan


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