Members of an Israeli delegation were denied entry into Jordan Tuesday, after border guards refused to allow those wearing Jewish garb from entering the country.The incident occurred at the Rabin border crossing in Eilat, on the border with the Jordanian port city of Aqaba, when a delegation of Israeli municipal leaders tried to enter the Hashemite kingdom for an educational tour.Jordanian border officials ordered the delegation members to lift up their shirts, so that the guards could see if they were wearing any religious Jewish garments underneath.Tour participants who were not wearing identifiably Jewish garb, such as kippot (yarmulkes) or tzitzit (a four-cornered, fringed traditional Jewish garment) were permitted to cross the border, while those who were wearing religious garments were refused entry.One participant told Israel Hayom that a Jordanian border guard took his kippah and threw it in the trash.
These are not the actions of an overzealous security guard. Stories like this pop up every few months. Official Jordanian policy is to confiscate any object that is remotely Jewish at the border with Israel, even if they are hidden within luggage.
Even non-Jews who cross from Israel to Jordan have their Jewish-themed souvenirs confiscated.
The official reason? This is done for the visitors' own safety.
That excuse is itself fascinating. Jews have traveled to other Muslim-majority countries, even those with no diplomatic relations with Israel, with their kipot and tallitot and tefillin with no issues. Only Jordan claims that the mere whiff of Judaism could whip its citizens into a murderous frenzy. And only Jordan blames the Jews for upsetting their Muslim residents by merely existing as Jews.
The blatantly antisemitic policy has been in place since at least 2015. Jordanians have complained bitterly when they see photos of religious Jews praying at the "Tomb of Aaron":
However, it appears that some Hasidic groups have managed to arrange trips specifically to visit and pray at that spot - on the Breslov Hasidic website they have a poster for a planned three day trip last summer, and they claim they have visited every year without incident, although they admit to having had to curtail some of their activities due to Jordanian concerns. But their annual trip originates from Israel.
So there is a little more to this story; perhaps organized tour groups arranged through some Jordanian travel agents are allowed.
Also, I have not seen anyone mention that Jews flying to Amman being harassed for wearing kipot or tzitzit.
But the official stated policy remains one of explicit antisemitism.
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