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Traveling to Isreal


Jeff Mottle
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A bit off topic, but given the international nature of our members here I wanted to see if someone out there could provide me some information. I've been invited to Isreal to tour a company and they would tour me around the country (All expenses paid). I've not yet asked where in the country, presumable not the West Bank or Gaza strip. My question does anyone live there or have visited there in the last year?

 

I am a Canadian but the Canadian Foreign affairs website does not exactly paint an impression that this would be a very safe trip. I would love to go, but I don't want to put myself in extreme risk either. Being a foriegner that could easily be confused as an American I don't want to be in a public place and the next suicide bomber target, which is listed on the goverment site as a risk and to avoid any place with large public gatherings.

 

My appologies in advance if my impression of Isreal is painted this way as I am only going off of what I have seen by the official governement travel advisories and what I see on the news.

 

Cheers,

Jeff

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Another thing, the site says to try to see if they will stamp your entry VISA with the Isreal passport stamp rather than your actual passport as there are a number of countries that will deny you entry if your passport has a entry stamp from Isreal.

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Years ago (about 10 or so) I traveled in India for 5 months. After about 2 I learned to always say I was Canadian. Travel with a highly viewable Maple Leaf at all times (not a joke). I did this even in Europe.

 

A friend I traveled with in India is Canadian or actually dual citizen and he went to school in Toronto, studied middle east studies, went to Isreal, Egypt a few other places. When he graduated college America would not allow him back in. He had to sneak across the border.

Anyway, that would be my main concern. I don't think at this point you would be fooling anyone by having them not stamp your passport. At least I hope the borders are a little tighter than that.

 

I bet the west bank is beautiful this time of year;)

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That's probably one of the few countries I would not visit right now even if that particular part of the country isn't in the hot-zone. Seems like a battlezone all over Europe right now. That video of the bomb exploding at the train station in Spain was really disturbing.

 

You should agree to meet in a neutral place, like the Bahamas!

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Here is all the good stuff:

 

 

Canadians have been denied entry into Syria, Lebanon, and other countries because their passports bear: (a) an Israeli visa; (b) an Israeli border stamp; or © an Egyptian or Jordanian border stamp issued by an office bordering Israel (such a stamp would indicate the traveller entered from Israel). Canadians travelling to Syria or Lebanon after visiting Israel should seek the advice of Foreign Affairs Canada or the Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Canadians travelling in the Middle East region are advised that the issue of possible misuse of Canadians' passports has been raised by the media at times in the past. Canadian passport holders are advised that their passports could come under increased scrutiny by immigration authorities, and the authenticity of their passport could be questioned. Canadians experiencing problems are encouraged to contact the nearest Canadian mission or Foreign Affairs Canada for advice and assistance.

 

 

Terrorist attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, in addition to ongoing military operations and heightened tensions throughout the region, put Canadians at risk. Travellers should maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times, as the security situation could deteriorate rapidly without notice. Exercise appropriate caution and avoid large gatherings, crowded places, and demonstrations, as well as proximity to other possible targets, including pedestrian promenades, shopping malls, open markets, restaurants, discotheques, bus stations, and public buses.

 

Canadians travelling to Israel should pay particular attention to current safety and security conditions. Ongoing terrorist activity has resulted in numerous deaths and injuries, and the potential for further violence is high. Visitors should carry passports at all times as a form of identification.

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The US State Department has similar warnings on its site.

 

I'm surprised that you get flagged just for having visited Isreal by those other countries. I guess its a tough area.

 

The travel does sound risky. Is the benefit worth the risk and the time away from work and wife?

 

Dangerous is relative, of course. Who would think there was anything much to worry about with a holiday on the beach in Thailand?

 

And just about every day I do one of the most dangerous things there is--drive a car.

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As one living in Israel and from Ramat Gan, I can assure you, Jeff, that no one is targeting you, Canadian, American or anything else.

At our company we have visitors from the States all the time and no one had any problems.

You are going to be in what we see as the most modern part of Israel,on the border of Tel Aviv,(in fact the two cities so blended that you can't tell where one ends and the other begins.)

I hope you're going to enjoy your visit, don't forget to relax.I think Israel is one of the safest places on earth. ;)

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Hi Jeff

I live about 25km (15 miles) from there. It's THE downtown of the Tel Aviv - Ramat Gan Area. Every firm that considers itself as one of the leaders in is field is there. If we compare Israel to NYC than you are talking about WTC area, even though all Manhattan is one large downtown and comparing anything to WTC (especially regarding your concerns) isn't that a good idea...

Most people not knowing Israel are getting the same wrong impression, thanks to CNN and alike.

Israel is in a middle of a conflict with its neighbors, but its nothing you can even know that exists from within it. Spending many years of my life out of the country I can tell you that I never felt safer than in Israel and not because its home for me.

Having said all that, terror acts do take place - most attempts are being stopped before accruing but some do succeed and take place. Its been a long time since it last happened within our boundaries. Since Arafat died most Palestinians organizations are taking it easy and pulling their attempts from within Israel and targeting our border settlements and military camps.

Regarding an Israel stamp in your passport when entering some other countries... lets just say that an Israeli passport is the worst one to have for a free border traveling... what can I say more - some regime's behavior is really out of this world - they wont speak with you since you spoke to someone that they don't like (is this 2005 already?...) Here's another example: I have an impossible friend from UAE. He can't see my website since their ISP had to block all CO.IL (Israeli internet addresses) by law. If you do come to Israel and so much concerned about entering one of those countries, just "lose" your passport when you return to Canada and issue a new one, and… viola… stamp is gone (I don’t think Canadians need a visa to enter Israel)

That’s about it I guess.

Oh… don’t forget to bring your D70 and lots of "digital films" with you; there are lots of things to "shut" at.

Catch me on messenger or skype later on for any extra info you need.

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I think the reality is that the US is one of the most dangerous place to be. I have been to a few different countries and no where did I get as scared as I have been in this country. Whe I traveled and used a maple leaf I was trying to avoid being scamed and it was easier to hitch hike as a canadian. Also in many countries people think you are really rich if you are from USA.

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