Has /trv/ been there? I'm thinking of doing a spontaneous trip to Israel in a few days. It's a very unique country so I figure it will be quite an experience to visit it. I'd also like to go to Jordan and visit Petra while I'm at it. Also if possible, take the bus to Cairo and see pyramids and then take the plane home. I wonder if all this is achievable or too dangerous, especially considering the situation in Sinai.
Do you guys have any suggestions or experience advice you'd like share? Still not 100% if I want to go or not.
yes, but not since '96, so not a lot of up-to-date info. haifa was beautiful, as were the golan heights/galilee, diving in eilat was awesome. border with egypt was locked down at that point, no idea now.
I was there in 2014 and i went to both petra and the pyramids afterwords.
No prob crossing into jordan over land border and renting a car and driving to petra.
When i was there, there was no bus to egypt. You had to hire a van w/ driver and there was no security. My buddy and i decided going thru sinai like that was too risky and took a plane to cairo.
Whatever you do, dont say you want to visit palestine at customs at the airport. I got held there for 6 hours before my friend convinced them to let me in (alternative was deportation and a 10 year flag on my name with interpol).
They give you a card as a visa so no worries about stamp in ur passport.
Just dont mention u were in israel if you want to go to lebanon for example.
Why are they so suspicious about people wanting to go to Palestine? I guess it's understandable that they are suspicious but threatening to deport you? I hear that you should simply be honest with the customs but what you say is the contrary. The difficulty with the Israeli customs is what's holding me back right now t bh.
Needing to fly to Cairo is a bummer. I prefer land transport when it's short distances.
since when did interpol get interested in israeli apartheid squabbling? the idea that you could become an international fugitive from justice from having the wrong opinion about who owns a former olive farm that was bulldozed and turned into a discount housing complex for settlers is beyond my level of comprehension.
It's butthurt, plain and simple. They get angry when some people so much as acknowledge the existence of Palestine.
Whatever stories you have heard about Israeli border guards being pricks are most likely true. I myself got held in interrogation for two hours, while they want me to explain all the stamps on my passport and what I had been doing there. I had printed out my itinerary and bookings, including my hotel stay in Ramallah, so that did help a bit. If you were saying something like, you're staying with a friend, that would really raise red flags with them. Just be honest and consistent and prepare to be repeatedly asked the same, dumb, racist questions.
I've been to Israel once and I think it depends what you want to see, Jerusalem is cool if your into history and what not, but it's pretty dirty, crowded and hot. Northern Israel has the nice scenery and BeerSheba is a cool city. Sorry I can't say more it's been a while since I was there.
It's a really cool place, I was there fairly recently (during the Gaza war, and everything felt really safe so don't let the news deter you).
Jerusalem is pretty cool for historical stuff, but if you want actual city things Tel Aviv is better for that. Golan is really great for hiking, along with most of the northern part.
The West Bank is pretty easy to get to for a westerner, I spent some time in Palestine while there, but there really isn't much to do other than say you went (or visit religious sites if that floats you boat).
There is no difficulty unless you go out of your way to fuck it up. I've been to Israel twice and everytime the "interview" boiled down to a question where will you be visiting - the correct answers are Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or any other popular spot IN ISRAEL. Then you might get a question why are you visiting - sightseeing. Not a pilgrimage, not charity work, not activism. Sightseeing. If they ask you if you know anyone in Israel, you absolutely don't, you're just a run of the mill tourist.
Just don't mention Palestine at all. Never ever. It does not exist and even if it did you'd never go there.
Not at the airport at least, elsewhere at the checkpoints nobody even bothers to check your passport properly if you look like a tourist. I crossed to Palestine in Betlehem and Hebron and nobody gave a shit.
It also depends on how well-traveled your passport is. I had loads of stamps from all over, including a few Arab countries, so I knew I would automatically get the multiple-hour questioning. Once inside Israel I met a traveller who had been detained for 5 hours for an interview - his only crime was having an Iranian stamp in his passport.
It's all butthurt. Anything that they can pick up on that might make them think you're not a good goy asskisser, and off to detention you go.
If you have an opportunity to go, then by all means do that! It's a very rewarding place historically to see, and many people exclaim how they needed months there to get it out of their system. I can't imagine there will be much difficulty going to Jordan considering their relationship with the country, and Petra looks cool from an water engineering feat perspective (if you do some research first and look around closely), but if you have no earthly idea about it all, you find the fake facades on unused burial chambers kind of boring for all the trouble to get there and be there.
It's simply the wrong time to go to Egypt atm, without some serious money to keep yourself safe, and frankly, it could be the best time right now to go to Israel and for the near future, so if you only went there, you'll be set for it being worth it all. There's nothing interesting to see in Palestine besides Bethlehem, so yea, don't bring it up. There's absolutely nothing to fear from questioning. It's for your safety too, that it's done to everyone. Be prepared to simply show your itinerary and financial or planned means to carry it out. Don't be disrespectful of them or the process, and should be a breeze if you are a normal person, psychologically speaking. Their bullshit meters are keen.
>There's nothing interesting to see in Palestine
>There's absolutely nothing to fear from questioning
>It's for your safety too, that it's done to everyone.
>Their bullshit meters are keen.
Please keep JIDF out of /trv/. None of what you stated is true. The guards interrogating you are idiots, plain and simple. They're people who couldn't be employed elsewhere, and are generally the bottom of the barrel when it comes to intelligence. Anyone who's not jewish can expect the long interrogation unless he's there on a business trip or a packaged tour.
Most of /trv/ would get the 2-5 hours of interrogation. Because this board has mostly independent young travellers, and those are exactly the types that always get questioned. If you hear anyone claim "It's a breeze to go through, the only ones who get questioned are those with suspected terrorist ties", either they got very lucky, or they have an Israeli passport.
>If you hear anyone claim "It's a breeze to go through, the only ones who get questioned are those with suspected terrorist ties", either they got very lucky, or they have an Israeli passport.
Or they went there on a "birthright" trip, I can't tell you how many previously-normal people from my school went on those and came back foaming at the mouth batshit crazy zionazis. I have no idea what their brainwash program is, but it's effective, whatever it is.
People on a packaged tour answer the "what are your plans" pretty succinctly. It's all mapped out, beginning to end, and it's not open-ended and funds to leave won't be an issue.
This board isn't mostly any one thing. You'd be wrong to think that.
The types that get questioned are the same types that get questioned at every other airport in the world, for usual things like one-way (terrorist don't need return tix), last minute (this hits good and bad people alike, but same reason as above, and less usual kind of travel too), no reservations on the ground (I travel like that offseason past first night or two sometimes, but people with really no clue are unusual tourist plans), limited funds (nothing says illegal emigration or illegal work like that one, and having no credit is the same thing). The quiz about knowing arabs would be because they are the mortal enemy of the isreali state. Duh.
And, it's not 2-5hrs of interrogation. If that happens to anyone, they are hitting one of the triggers above, and your vagabond way of life is exactly the kind of person most countries want to keep out, no matter the politics.
I once saw a guy ahead of me in immigration Canada to Use (american customs officials) wearing fabric pajama pants with cannabis plants all over them. Talk about a fool who was inviting a hassle. If I was going to a country like Isreal tomorrow, you can be damn sure "no, I don't know anyone who is arab" and that my hotels were reserved the entirety of my trip. If you don't invite trouble, you don't get it. The only thing most people can't avoid is last minute trips. I also would be flying on my country's flagship airlines, and if I cared most about my safety, I'd be on El Al to be extra sure the security was top rate and I wasn't flying with anyone sketchy.
The comment about nothing to see in Palestine wasn't a crack at the culture or the people, or buying into any propaganda. It's because it is the Haiti of the middle east.
You pretty much replied exactly in the way I said an Israeli would.
>hurr you must have done something wrong if you get interrogated for 2+ hours
I'm a pretty experienced traveler. The only other time I've had an extended interrogation was entering the USA (they can be dicks), but that was about 5 minutes and they wanted to know if I really was going to go back since I didn't have much stuff and funds on me, and I was a 20-year old inexperienced sperglord.
I don't ever raise any of those red flags you mentioned, and you'd be an idiot to think that. I had my full itinerary planned out and printed. No question about funds, had my return ticket (business class), and in Tel Aviv stayed in 5 star hotels. But since my passport has loads of stamps from all over the world, that was enough to get the 2-hour treatment. Then I get asked about every country that they have never heard of (which is quite a lot given the education level of those who they put into those jobs). Every single stamp, they ask the same thing.
>is that an arab country
>is that a muslim country
If you think that's a clever and subtle interrogation method, you're a retard.
West Bank is easy to visit and definitely has a few cool things to see. You obviously have never been there (Israeli passport holders can't go), since otherwise you'd know there is no comparison to Haiti. What a dumb thing to say.
>flying El Al
If you're not a jew, you're better off with anything else, even RyanAir will be better.
>If you think that's a clever and subtle interrogation method, you're a retard.
Questioning 101: Sometimes your reaction is all the information they are looking for which what seems like stupid questions to you. Asking you something twice is the lie detector, or three times, and asking you something irritating or over and over is your mental health detector. People simply snap. How is it that you find it weird that nothing no stuff, not having funds and being inexperienced with travel (questions) was the US being hard on you? OMG, how dare they question you for 5 mins!
There's exactly 2 cool things to see, Jericho and Jerusalem, and if you care to see Dome of the Rock, it's really a matter of formality to be in what country while in Jerusalem.
One of the clear signs someone is a retard is to make assumptions about the other person's intelligence and experience being less than your own. I'm an airline brat, multi-generational, and I'm a pilot but I.T. by trade. I have traveled for all reasons, times and budgets. If you really cared for understanding how security works, you'd research the whys. But, there won't be any country in the world doing it better than Israel. If they do something, it will have a statistical reason. In the US, if they do something, it will be because of 1 person once attempting something and in reaction. Of course, not working for an airline, or the govt, you'd probably be unaware that travelers are refused tickets and boarding by the airlines first in the US all day every day, before they ever get hassled by the TSA or customs/immigration people. It's all done by the computer, from the type of plans, to your name. Your bags are screened out of sight, as well as in front of you. You're watched. It's just less in your face than how they interrogate you in Israel.
>One of the clear signs someone is a retard is to make assumptions about the other person's intelligence and experience being less than your own.
Which is exactly what you're doing. You're exactly acting like someone who thinks he's an expert about subjects he only has superficial knowledge of. But for some odd reason you seem to be fixated on Israel's border control. Namely you are certain they are the best in the world. And if someone is interrogated for hours, it must be his fault because he raised the red flags. Israel's security control is perfect in your view and reflects today's situation perfectly despite having been unchanged for 50+ years. I wonder what reason someone would have to jump onto a thread and heap praise on Israel's border control, when it clearly flies in the face of all facts and experience of others?
Let's not even get started about if you have an Iran stamp on your passport. Or if they simply don't like your face. Even some friends of mine who are jewish and have been to Israel many times have had the extended interrogation at some point. The only ones who never seem to are Israeli passport holders.
Have read every reply ITT... What do you think about this itinerary? I basically change the land trip from Israel to Egypt for a flight from Beirut instead.
The problem is if there will be any proof of my visit to Israel on the passport when I arrive to Lebanon. I heard they no longer stamp the passport in Ben Gurion airport, but I'm still not sure about the land border to Jordan.
I also wonder if standby travel will be a problem for me. Will the border control think this is more suspicious as I am an airline employee and don't have to book fixed dates?
It's likely they would stamp the land crossing from Jordan, and countries that don't like Israel (such as Lebanon) will search for exactly these stamps. Probably not a good idea to plan your trip with the assumption that you will be able to enter and leave Israel stamp-free if you use land borders.
>Will the border control think this is more suspicious as I am an airline employee and don't have to book fixed dates?
You'll have a record locator number, a printed seat request, and a paid buddy pass or something that shows the cities you'd like to fly in and out of, even if you know you don't have to use any of that verbatim.
As to if border control will understand it, just have it all printed. I've had issues in LGA with a connecting flight between terminals, of all places from ignoramuses at TSA. Obviously born yesterday, but still, odds are it will happen so just don't try to use some issued round trip Paris-NY-Paris ticket without a printed Beirut there on it when you fill out of the thing and should avoid some issues where they might not believe you.
It's a good thing I'm flexible then...
However, I have read online that they won't stamp your passport if you go by the border crossing through the west bank, as Jordan recognizes that area as their own and they will consider you as already having entered the country.
If I have to go thrrough a passport control, then I hope they will be nice enough to stamp on a separate paper.
Otherwise I guess I'll fly home from Amman and skip Lebanon and Egypt altogether... maybe visit Istanbul instead.
>maybe visit Istanbul instead.
You should know this is a bit of a trigger on most international alert systems. Might not make sense to you, but it's the big no-no on passports at the moment. It's the gateway to illegal border crossings and other nefarious activities. Honestly, it's flooded with immigrants and isn't a great time to visit anyway. I'd skip it.
Go see Prague or Budapest to/from your middle east tour. It'll be interesting enough and different.
>Go see Prague or Budapest
Heh, I'm actually going to Budapest soon with a bunch of friends. Just wanted to kill some time inthe meantime and Israel is close enough and relatively warm.
As for Istanbul being bad right now, I guess I can agree with you when it comes to the weather. I don't see how it will affect my passport badly though. It will literally be the last place I go to and my passport will expire soon so I'll get a new one anyways.
Personally I think it'd be a better idea if he spent the rest of his time touring Israel/Jordan more thoroughly, but if it came to flying to Europe instead, I'd return to Tel Aviv and use Wizzair's handy connection from there to Central-Eastern Europe for dirt cheap tickets. Unless his airline employee status already permits a better deal of course.
It's really your own country that wont like it. And, so you know? It's the digital age, so old or new passport is recorded alike. If you absolutely everywhere, and all time (like I do), probably wouldn't matter much, but I'd prefer to be off the radar of course.
has a point. There's never enough time to see/do all a person would want to do in Israel. That year abroad thing is well spent there. Once you go? You'll also agree. Get your history reviewed, son!
>It's really your own country that wont like it. And, so you know? It's the digital age, so old or new passport is recorded alike.
Hmm please elaborate. Who is recording my passport? My government? Any other countries? I couldn't care less for my country to record me (Sweden) as they won't give two shits if I visit Istanbul. Although, it might be problematic if other countries have access to the information as well.
Dude, just don't go. US evacuated all their personnel, and is only one step away from airlifting the rest of the visitors. UK advises against it too. Don't invite trouble. The nice thing about Israel is they actually care about security. Enjoy yourself there and save the rest of your ideas for a different world at a different time.
Ausfag here...I got into Israel via Egypt border without any questioning...I had a few qt's that i met online i was meeting up with but i pretended i didn't know anyone there....Most of the people doing the questioning are bored young conscripts and hardly investigative geniuses like the mentalist, columbo or matlock.
I didn't really enjoy Israel for some reason...English was an issue....public transport is all buses.....and even nearly every israeli would tell me they though their own people were jerks....the guys are super aggressive in hitting on women so it's not a good pick up destination (they will literally walk along the beach hitting on women). I guess I just found it a bit too familiar yet run down...even in the middle of tel aviv many famously white buildings are run down and covered in dirt.i stayed near ben gurion avenue though so was fairly sleazy.....visting the religious sites made me even more atheist..the famous sites are not peaceful at all and full of russian christians pushing in to get closer to jesus lol....most suprising thing is probably there are still tons of arabs in israel and in all these middle east countries the overly traditional arab sectors are the least interesting or fun parts...
At first I was trying to fly with El Al to Tel Aviv from Warsawa but was denied in the last minute after an hour long search-through and interrigation. They didn't give me a reason, only said "for secuirty" but I could still fly to Tel Aviv with another airline that doesn't have the same safety precautions and try my luck at the airport. No success. As I fly standby, it's easy to book tickets in the last minute and such, however apparently not a good idea if you want to go to Israel as they will find it suspicious.
Although I think the actual reason for not letting me in is because of my Iranian background. No matter what I would say, that I'm an atheist, that I have no connection to Iran outside my ethnic background and my parents, that I can barely speak the language, the seemed determined from the beginning to not let me in.
All in all, it took maybe 7 hours from getting to the airport, to sending me back with another plane home. I was obviously incredibly disappointed as I had paid money for this, spent more than 24 hours on travelling, and really wanted to visit the country. I guess some places are simply not meant to be accessible for me.
If you have questions about the interrigations, feel free to ask. I can't be bothered to give out details right now. I do believe that as long as you are not middle eastern looking you will be fine. Not having any Iranian relatives would be for the best.
Funnily enough, the buddy that i mentioned earlier that convinced them to let me in after 6 hours at the airport is of pakistani desent, speaks arabic, and has one of the most islamic names you can imagine. They wanted to know his parents names and his grandparents (which he lied about since he doesnt even know). He had 0 problems while im just bad at answering their questions the way they want i guess. They started called me a lier after i realized mentioning palestine was a mistake and trying to back out of it after being in an intense interrogation where they took my phone and were reading all my messeges and trying to get on my facebook.
Although muy buddy used to work for dhs in the us so that might have had something to do with his easy time.
>Did they just single you out on looks alone
I guess. I was born in Sweden. They asked for my father's name and my grandparent's name as well (didn't know). Later also my mother and my sister. They wanted to know as much about my relatives as possible.
Well that just makes me more jealous... Fuck I hate my life right now. Being so close to the destination, yet so far away. I'll add that I didn't exactly give them the most accurate answers all the time, but it wasn't intentional. The fact that I was very nervous at the time (shaking like crazy at the end) didn't exactly help me look more trustworthy.
I don't know if I should talk to foreign department, like an embassy or just ignore the matter. I feel like I have been marked as a criminal despite literally having done nothing illegal. They actually stamped the passport with an "ENTRY DENIED" mark.
Wow that sucks. AFAIK their questions don't really matter, they just check for signs of nervousness. Maybe it's because of our retarded anti-israel government or the terrorists we harbor.
Do you have an Iranian surname? That would be enough to give you a minimum of hours of interrogation, and possible deportation.
It really is just "I don't like your face, fuck off." Unless you have some Arab/Iran connections, in which case they hate you by default and can deny entry just out of spite. Nothing gets them more butthurt than a foreigner coming in and thinking that Palestine exists or that Iran is a nice country to visit.
Don't dress up like a hippie or activist, because that's the fastest way to get turned away. If there's one thing that gets the Israeli border guards even more butthurt than Palestine or Iran, it's someone who wants to go to Palestine to do humanitarian work.
>Do you have an Iranian surname?
The one who was interviewing me literally told me "I don't like you.". If it was to trigger me or just an honest opinion, I don't know, probably both.
I never mentioned Palestine once. They did ask me if I wantred to visit the "Palestinian authorities" though, but I insisted on just saying Jerusalem.
>family in an enemy state
>comes from an anti-israel state
>coming to "visit" but has no plan for leaving
>gets shifty and starts shaking uncontrollably when questioned
it's not a big surprise he got sent home
>>gets shifty and starts shaking uncontrollably when questioned
tbf it's hard not to after what I had been to and it's not like you don't get nervous in job interviews and public speeches for instance
>>coming to "visit" but has no plan for leaving
I didn't have a date set in stone, that was it. Wouldn't you prefer standby travellling if it meant flexible dates and cheper prices? I told them how long I would stay and that I was departing from Amman.
Are you implying I am a terrorist? :(
real life israeli jew here, i'll try to keep the shill to a minimum but no promises
firstly when you arrive here you shouldn't fear customs to much while they are annoying they're just being thorough and taking the necessary percautions so as to not get fucked up by potential threats, if your entire country was at war with *x* country wouldn't it be safer to ask and even detain people with relations to such a country, if found to be innocent they let you go, it's a pain but there's nothing you can do about it, you can try your luck and lie but that's to your considerations.
if you don't have any arab stamps on your passport and relations to any arabs then you're safe, jerusalem atm isn't that safe since there're a lot of stabbings so be on the lookout for any arab children with scissors, as to going to sinai from what I hear ISIS is up there and I wouldn't go but that's your choice man I don't know much about that.
I served in Idf and I call bs. Some are pricks because it hard but they are minority. Most of us just do our job and believe me, you probably don't hear about it but people are getting stabbed here by arabs almost daily in Jerusalem where I live. So it is reasonable to hold a person for few hours and realizing he is ok then just letting a terrorist go by.
Maybe they are "doing their jobs", but they are dumb as bricks. They have been trained that everyone in the world is out to get you and are extremely paranoid. Of course you wouldn't know anything about the treatment of non-jews on Israeli borders, probably not even inside your own country. Israeli passport holders don't get the interrogation treatment.
European tourists visiting has nothing to do with your stabbings in Jerusalem. Sort out your own internal problems on your own. Nobody is gaining anything by your harassment of foreigners.
Yeah Israel just happens to have the worlds most effective safety and security policies. Just let any shifty arab in, airport security catching or stopping so many terrorists is just a coincidence.
>worlds most effective safety and security policies
Lolwut. Yes, I'm sure guys like >>1066147 are marked in your statistics as "Yet another terrorist that our glorious security forces arrested and turned away". The harassment of non-jews by border control is real, you can't just pretend it doesn't exist. But seriously, take your shilling to /int/ or something, and let's get back to /trv/-related stuff.
The risk of a /trv/ler being detained and questioned extensively and even deported is very real. It doesn't matter if you are a standard tourist who has zero ties to anything Arab, the odds are good that you will be pulled aside and harassed, possibly for hours. The ones who claim that "only those likely to be terrorists are questioned" all hold Israeli passports, so they don't know how everyone else is treated.
Don't be from a state that's been at war with Israel and don't act shifty.
Fun fact: Aside from being one of the safest airports in the world, it's also been rated as the best by it's passengers.
I can do this all day, the JIDF pays me 12$ per response.
Sounds like the terrorists are already in israel then, they should work that out in jeruselam instead of at the airport
Not to mention the only thing those people have to do is stab and sit around and watch while jews steal everything they ever had or knew
Aussie here with iranian background and name.
Been to Israel twice.
My friend went to Haifa and Akka (old city/Aladdin irl) and visited the Baha'i gardens.
Came back home.
Investigated the Baha'i faith.
Became a Baha'i.
So yeah, go visit Haifa and Akka, but you'll probably want to change your religion to Baha'i when you get back, if you're spiritual that is.
Man I would shill all fucking day for israel regardless of what I disagree with them on for 12 dollars a fucking post.
Nigga, i'd straight deny the USS liberty attacks ever happened and that powerful jews seek to destroy western culture through left leaning policies.
For 12$ a post, id shop posts of me sucking netanhyu fucking cock and post that shit on my facebook.
>it's also been rated as the best by it's passengers.
Cherrypicking heeb obfuscation. No legit international comparisons list Schlomo Glickstein as the best airport in the world. It is always Changi, closely followed by Munich.
Of course a shitload of chosen people flying from Glickstein are gonna say it is the best airport. They have only flown to like... 3 or 4 in the only countries where they feel safe.
I went to Israel in 2000, so I assume things are different now. They questioned me for maybe 20 minutes coming off the plane. And xrayed the hell out of my bag when I walked back in from Egypt.
Still, even then Jerusalem was tense. Not just because you might get blown up, but the religious fervor of the place was palpable. No reasonable person is going to live anywhere near that place. So it is completely filled with nutters.
Otoh, I may have almost gotten blown up had the Israeli police not shot those suicide bombers. Honestly, I don't really know what happened, beyond some Arab looking dudes died. Getting objective news afterwards was hard.
Also went to Eilat, which was nothing special. And Sinai, Egypt which was unpleasant and boring.
Haifa was pretty, but not I want to suck that god's dick pretty. So don't worry too much about previous poster...
Oh tel aviv seemed like a pretty cool city, but you don't go to isreal just to see tel aviv.
American non-Jew who has visited Israel 5 or 6 times before with father on business. Most times there were just friendly border guards that would ask a few questions about itinerary and such. I was always going to a tech company in Herzliya(?) with my dad so no trouble there.
I did get questioned for about three hours, though, when I was by myself. I had just spent a few weeks in Singapore with a friend, jumped over to Malaysia a few times which attracted suspicion. I hadn't booked a return flight as well, I had just been planning on staying with an old friend in Tel Aviv.
They kept asking me various questions, leaving the room, letting me be in there for an hour, then coming back. I finally gave them my Facebook page which had a bunch of Zionist shit my Grandma had posted that I reposted when I had been bored, which I think let them ease up on me. My Israeli friend felt awful about it all, his wife stuffed me full of falafel and beer, and overall I wasn't too much worse for the wear.
My Thai pajama pants that had "Long Dicky" printed all over them were gone, though. That was a disappointment ;_;
I got that treatment because of lots of stamps in my passport, even though none of them were particularly offensive to Israel (I think). I had a stamp from Dubai, they were okay with that I guess. I had a stamp from Istanbul, and they were suspicious about that (wut?). I had a stamp from Malaysia and they got really butthurt about that one. I know Malaysia doesn't like Israel, but it's a pretty major tourist destination, so pretty dumb of them to assume that makes me a terrorist.
They actually went through the stamps on my passport and saw some countries they didn't recognize. They would ask "is this a muslim country? an arab country?" Like WTF, if you had half a brain, you would know the few nations that don't like you, and the rest are just whatever. If you have to ask if this little nation in the far east is muslim/arab, you're a fucking idiot.
Tried reading the whole thread but it was TL;DR.
It's funny how everyone speak about the "security interview" here. Obviously you guys are from the states or from a country that does not need a visa for the states. If you think that a 2-5 hours interview (and lets face it, it doesn't really happening) is bad, try proving that you will not immigrate to the USA at 22 years after finishing army service with no education, funds or plans in life.
Also, most of the guys doing security are random folks, probably around the age of 22-25, after army or students. If you see anything else, you got yourself into trouble.
One of the cool things about Israel, as opposed to the beloved USA, we don't have only idiots and poorfag doing the "dirty work" (aka army, airport security and etc.) and probably these are just young adults trying to be independent (without loans) on their way of getting proper education. They don't really look for you or try nailing you or any other way of stucking you unless you do something stupid. Don't come with a shitty attitude and everything will be OK.
TL;DR security - Don't be a dick, have some plans and for the love of good don't be terrorist.
As for what to do in Israel.
- Tel aviv is probably what you will be looking for if you are in your mid-late 20's and looking for some urban fun.
- Jerusalem is nice if you are religious or intersted in old cities and history. I haven't been there since christmas 2014 (except for work trips but they don't count really) so I can't asses how the situation goes down there but probably as long as you look foreign and don't speak hebrew, you'll be fine.
- Northen Israel is very beautiful. You can do some hiking, for example the Golan Trail or northern part of the Israel National Trail. If you go really up north you can visit the battlefields of the 67 and 73. I recommend the Bakha valley where you can get to see the Syrian civil war as closely as you can, guarded by the IDF.
If don't want to go the distance, The Kinnert AKA Sea of Galilee is really nice. There are several christian sites on the north and south part, if you care about them.
Going to the west, Rosh HaNikra is a nice place but Im not sure that its the best time of the year to go there.
Akko is a nice old city with both jewish and arab population, its nice to pass there if you're already in the area.
Haifa has the Bahai's garden which some say is a must. If you care about it, then do. Otherwise, Haifa is pretty dull and not intersting place to see.
Closer to Tel Aviv you have Zikhron Yaaqov which is a nice little town to have a dinner and have a walk.
If you are into beautiful sunsets in the area of Tel Aviv and like the crusades or from /pol/, you can go to Arsuf. There is a nice crusaders castle there and a cool story
of how chrisitans kicked muslim ass 1000 years ago. Plan to get there an hour before sunset and see the sun going down.
Some more cool places to see around the center of Israel are:
- Latrun, has a monastry and the biggest armor museum in the world if you are into it.
- Palmahim is a nice beach if you are looking to get away from the city but now is not the season for it.
- "The road to Jerusalem" has some intersting memorials about the fight to reach Jerusalem in the 48' war and some nice hiking trails.
Going down to southern Israel is where things get intersting.
Be'er Sheva is the main city around here, its a nice city that is developing really fast in recent years, but not tourism at the moment.
You can go to the Dead sea which is really cool for the first time.
Around there you have Masada which is an old palace with a story of Jewish bravery blah blah. Best time is to see sunrise from there, read about it.
If you are not low on budget I suggest doing a night in the Beresheet in Mitzpe Ramon. It is rather costy but the view you get is really awesome.
Heard from a friend about a place called Khan Beerotayim. Should be a really cool place to have some quiet in the middle of no where. Check it out
Last, but not least is Eilat. Located in the south end of Israel. Its a resort city which you can stay now for good prices and with better population than the summer.
Im not a pro about it but it should be a place to do diving if you are into it.
Another thing to note that I just remembered. There is a subsidy to international fight coming to Ovda, so flight from there should be cheaper. Try getting to Tel Aviv, traveling around and finishing in Eilat and then flying back from Ovda. Just note that Ovda is a really shitty airport and the whole setup there is not really organized. Also DO NOT fly there on saturday. There was a problem there a few weeks ago about transportation on Shabbat (no public transport on saturday in Israel).
>Don't complain about being a tourist in our country because lots of us face the same problem in the US
That's not a valid argument.
>most of the guys doing security are random folks, probably around the age of 22-25, after army or students
That's part of what people here are complaining about, more specifically how they have to explain their previous travels to whippersnappers who haven't visited a foreign country in their life and think everything outside of the US, Western Europe and Israel is a barren wasteland inhabited by bearded jew-haters.
Now, I understand your guys' paranoia, don't get me wrong, but these extensive widespread controls don't work like they should.
IMO, of course. I can't be fucked to look up statistics on how many would-be terrorists are flushed out by those controls vs. how many people are needlessly stopped 2-5 hours at Israeli international airports.
Very much the expected Israeli response. You are either shilling, or completely naive to the way things work because you don't get subjected to the extended interrogations like foreigners.
My 2 hours of interview was done by two middle-aged ladies, dumb as bricks. My only "suspicious activity" was being a traveler, so I had stamps from lots of countries. I'm always courteous and polite, had my itinerary printed out, but I was prepared because one of my Israeli friends told me beforehand that my well-traveled passport would automatically earn me the extended interrogation.
If anyone thinks they are very clever and highly trained professionals, you're a fucking idiot. They tried to get me to admit I'm a muslim arab in disguise (blonde Nordic christian here) with all the same indirect questions.
Most of /trv/ will fit the profile that will be pulled off for extended interrogation. So it's a very real risk, and good to mention on Israel threads. Everyone who has friends who have been to Israel has heard lots of these stories of extended interrogation, while very few have stories where everything went smoothly.
For a Jew? Maybe. White American Catholic here - got detained for 3 hours because I had a fucking Nepal stamp from when I climbed Everest (only to base camp ;_;). The dense 30ish Israeli girl kept trying to get me to confess that I was involved with a "muslim terror cell" there. Denied that anyone went there on vacation, seized my ThinkPad and copied the HDD, phoned my contacts in Jaffa and then screened me a few more times. I was about ready to just fly somewhere else, when they called up a guy in my contacts who was a PhD student at Yeshiva University in NYC. He convinced her that I was here on an exploration of the Jewish faith (which I wasn't).
I have a friend who is jew but not Israeli. He has family in Israel. He usually goes through with no problem, but one time he too got detained for 4 hours of interrogation. It seems like they harass jews too if they don't have an Israeli passport.
that's true. My travelmates who had a one night stayover where questioned pretty hard at the Airport. I for myself was questioned alot less despite my multiple morocco stamps. Also they where curious about my stay in the ukraine. i don't even know why
I have in my passport the following visas:
- Iranian ×2 with multiple extensions for 5-month stay
- Egyptian with extension for 3 months
There's only a single page left in my passport and it's expiring within 3 months.
Got an idea to fill the remaining page with a stamp from Israel.
Can I try that without being anally raped by a zionist gang?
You will be anally raped, no question. And unless you are taking some of the land crossings, you won't even get an Israeli stamp these days. Even they might not do it anymore. If you fly to Tel Aviv, you will only be given a paper slip instead. So, because getting the Israeli dreaded stamp on your passport is becoming more and more rare, maybe it's better to wait until you have a new clean passport.
Besides, most countries won't let you in if your passport doesn't have at least 6 months validity anyway.
We all know Israel has security issues due in large part to their crimes against humanity. That doesn't justify turning ordinary foreigners into international fugitives from justice because they didn't laugh at the right jokes when going on a tourism visit.
Should you go to Egypt first and then to Israel?
Many Arab countries refuse entry if you have an Israeli stamp, this will probably ruin my planned trip to Iran unless I get a new passport first.
Lived there for a year and have been to visit several times. Disclaimer: I am Jewish so getting in wasnt an issue
It's definitely a cool country. I've never felt more safe in my life and I lived there during "war" time when I was an 18 year old girl. Obviously, don't be stupid but its not waht the media makes it out to be. If you're not interested in the conflict, you won't even notice anything. It might feel very intimidating at first. There is security everywhere, you even have to put your bags through scanners for the mall. This is just life.
It's tiny and very accessible. There is actually a route you can take to walk across the county called Yam le Yam (Sea to Sea). Highly recommend. it takes about 3 days.
The buses go everywhere and you can buy a pass on most buses (other than very long trips like Jerusalem to Eilat). Hit up Jerusalem and just walk around. The coolest restuarant in Jerusalem is Darna, an authentic morrocan place in the basement of an old building near the western wall. Go to the Shuk (marketplace) in Jerusalem and just buy a bit of everything. They have the absolute world's best gummies and candied nuts. Everything is based on haggling. Don't bother trying very hard unless its a big ticket item though. They know what they're doing and they know you don't know the language or what you're doing. Don't be a dick to get a good price, they will just yell at you.
Go to Tel Aviv to party for sure. I f you want the beach though, go to Hertzliya which is right next to it and basically nicer Tel Aviv. Haifa is my favourite beach for sure and a beautiful city. I've slept on the beaches and just walked from plae to place. Eilat is worth the trip if you're heading down to Jordan. Mount Solomon is just outside Eilat. It's a full day hike if you want to climb, but totally worth it. You can see 4 coutries from the peak. Obviously the dead sea is amazing.
When I was there, there was a bus that went to Egypt, I don't know if it exists still
Went on the birthright trip and then had a week to myself. It was a Reform Jewish trip so it was more liberal Zionist. Lots of talk about Yitzhak Rabin and the two-state solution, and how conflict is "very complicated."
Tel Aviv is cool, I hear it's easy to get laid there. Jerusalem is tense but also surprisingly mundane. People who live there are very jaded. Security everywhere. Pushy souvenir merchants.
I did actually go into Palestine. Bethlehem and Ramallah. I lied to the airport security about going there and they didn't interrogate me or anything. I went during Ramadan and all the young people were really tired and smoke pot.
Went to Israel in September and also went into the West Bank.
Security procedures at Ben Gurion airport consisted of a young girl asking me if it was my first time in Israel, I said "Yes" and she let me straight through.
Wife I was travelling with is half-Russian and half-Palestinian Arab, but doesn't look Arab at all. The border control officer spoke Russian so they just asked similar sort of thing.
When travelling into WB there is no checks. On the way back into Jerusalem, the bus stopped and all Palestinians get off. Foreigners stay on the bus and IDF come on to check passports and visa slips, and then wave the bus trough. Then you get off and join the Palestinians on a connecting bus.
On flying back to London I was asked who I was travelling with and just said partner and they let me straight through. They didn't ask where I had been at all.
On your passport they stamp a barcode and the first number indicates what security risk they think you are. I think I got 3 or something which is low risk.
Video'd some of the trip:
I've read there are 6 levels. 1 is "Israeli jew", which means never any questioning. 2 is "Israeli non-jew", less trustable obviously. 3 is the best that a foreigner can get.
I got a 5, which to me seemed like everyone traveling alone got. I got sent to the "suspected terrorist" lane. My guess is that traveling as a couple makes it a lot easier and you automatically get a lower number.
I go to Israel frequently, it's worth renting a car, imo. As you'll see when you get there, it's an advanced first world country with everything. Even travel in the territories is basically safe.
I wouldn't go to Cairo by bus though, bad idea.
Petra is no problem though.
>I wouldn't go to Cairo by bus though, bad idea.
Really? How bad could it possibly be?
I imagine the worst case scenario would be somebody trying to stop the bus and kidnap people off of it, but of course the driver could simply keep driving.
I was in Israel over christmas/new year. Definitely worth a visit. Spent 2 1/2 weeks in total in Tel Aviv, Haifa, the Galilee, Jerusalem and West Bank.
Things felt a bit sketchy at times, but never felt completely unsafe. In the West Bank the Palestinians were quite friendly. There I felt most at risk from the teenagers with guns (IDF). They were nice kids when you talk to them but they mostly seemed nervous as fuck. I served in the military myself and could tell they knew how to handle their weapons, but they were on edge.
I was asked about my stamps to Brunei at passport control, but when I confirmed they didn't have a problem and waved me through.
I would be wary of renting a car if you are only used to driving in north America. Driving there is a frenzy. If you do rent a car, only use it intercity and just use the city buses. They have a phenomenal transit. Crazy but buses go everywhere you need. Also, if you cab, always haggle beforehand
No, it's not the same anywhere else. For immigration, yes. Not for the "security" checks. Literally no other place has a "you dirty foreigners go to this extended security check lane" policy. And immigration rarely includes extended interrogation in other places, in Israel it's routine.