Jordan bars Jews with religious items

Ethel C. Fenig
Along with the United States and many other countries, Israel has freedom of religion where people of all religious beliefs  can worship as they please with whatever religious items they need.  Many countries don't - including Olympics host China and many Moslem countries.  Others just discriminate against specific religions.

Sadly, joining this latter group is so-called moderate Jordan where recently
Jordanian border officials refused to allow a group of Israeli tourists carrying religious objects such as talitot and tefillin to enter their country on Tuesday, saying it was "a safety measure" to avoid potential terror threats.


The officials didn't explain why this was a "safety measure" or who would cause the "potential terror threats" but certainly it couldn't have been the Israelis as their luggage was thoroughly searched.  Therefore they probably meant that other Jordanian citizens, which is a largely Moslem country where no Jews are allowed to reside,  would commit terrorist acts against tourists with Jewish religious items. 


Thirty-six Israeli tourists on their way to Amman for a three-day tour were detained at the Sheikh Ali Hussein Crossing near Beit She'an at 6:30 a.m. and notified of a new regulation that prohibits entry into Jordan with tefillin, talitot, prayer books, Bibles or the Talmud.

"Our group was presented with two options," said Alan Novetsky, a recent immigrant from New York who was accompanied on the tour by his wife. "Either enter Jordan without religious objects or go back to Israel."

The Israelis refused to enter Jordan, which badly needs tourist money. 
But the action was clearly directed at Jews because, as one of the barred Israeli tourists explained
 I saw Christians walking through into Jordan openly wearing crosses. Apparently, Christian religious symbols did not seem to be a problem for the Jordanians. I can well imagine the international outcry if Islamic tourists were to encounter such restrictions on their entry into Israel."
Exactly.  And when Jordan controlled the old city of Jerusalem from 1948-1967 Jews were prohibited from entering and praying at their historical holy places; the Jordanians destroyed many of them.  When Israel freed the city in 1967 all religions and people, Jewish, Christian and Moslem were allowed to pray at their religiously significant sites. 
Along with the United States and many other countries, Israel has freedom of religion where people of all religious beliefs  can worship as they please with whatever religious items they need.  Many countries don't - including Olympics host China and many Moslem countries.  Others just discriminate against specific religions.

Sadly, joining this latter group is so-called moderate Jordan where recently
Jordanian border officials refused to allow a group of Israeli tourists carrying religious objects such as talitot and tefillin to enter their country on Tuesday, saying it was "a safety measure" to avoid potential terror threats.


The officials didn't explain why this was a "safety measure" or who would cause the "potential terror threats" but certainly it couldn't have been the Israelis as their luggage was thoroughly searched.  Therefore they probably meant that other Jordanian citizens, which is a largely Moslem country where no Jews are allowed to reside,  would commit terrorist acts against tourists with Jewish religious items. 


Thirty-six Israeli tourists on their way to Amman for a three-day tour were detained at the Sheikh Ali Hussein Crossing near Beit She'an at 6:30 a.m. and notified of a new regulation that prohibits entry into Jordan with tefillin, talitot, prayer books, Bibles or the Talmud.

"Our group was presented with two options," said Alan Novetsky, a recent immigrant from New York who was accompanied on the tour by his wife. "Either enter Jordan without religious objects or go back to Israel."

The Israelis refused to enter Jordan, which badly needs tourist money. 
But the action was clearly directed at Jews because, as one of the barred Israeli tourists explained
 I saw Christians walking through into Jordan openly wearing crosses. Apparently, Christian religious symbols did not seem to be a problem for the Jordanians. I can well imagine the international outcry if Islamic tourists were to encounter such restrictions on their entry into Israel."
Exactly.  And when Jordan controlled the old city of Jerusalem from 1948-1967 Jews were prohibited from entering and praying at their historical holy places; the Jordanians destroyed many of them.  When Israel freed the city in 1967 all religions and people, Jewish, Christian and Moslem were allowed to pray at their religiously significant sites.