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This Country Imposed a Ban on Israeli Passport Holders

Exactly what purpose does this ban serve?

In response to the ongoing war since members of a terrorist group in Gaza called Hamas launched thousands of surprise rocket attacks and ground assaults in Israel early in the morning on Saturday, October 7, 2023, this country imposed a ban on Israeli passport holders.

This Country Imposed a Ban on Israeli Passport Holders

The country in question is the Republic of Maldives; and the following is the text of the official announcement from Sunday, June 2, 2024 in its entirety:

President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, following a recommendation from the Cabinet, has resolved to impose a ban on Israeli passports. The Minister of Homeland Security and Technology, Ali Ihsaan, announced the decision at a news conference held at the President’s Office this afternoon.

The Cabinet decision includes amending necessary laws to prevent Israeli passport holders from entering the Maldives and establishing a Cabinet subcommittee to oversee these efforts.

Additionally, in the case of Palestine and Israel, the President decided to appoint a special envoy to assess Palestinian needs. The President further decided to set up a fundraising campaign to assist our brothers and sisters in Palestine with the help of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and to conduct a nationwide rally under the slogan “Falastheenaa Eku Dhivehin,” which translates to “Maldivians in Solidarity with Palestine” to show support.

The Foreign Ministry of Israel reportedly recommended on that same day that Israelis — including those with other passports — avoid traveling to the Republic of Maldives; and that citizens of Israel who are already there consider leaving that country, as providing assistance to them would be difficult should they find themselves in danger.

No details were revealed as to when this law will become effective. The ban supposedly includes dual passport holders and people who hold passports that were issued by other countries in addition to those issued by Israel.

Visitors from Israel accounted for only approximately 0.6 percent of the total tourist population to the Maldives in 2023.

Final Boarding Call

A sovereign nation can choose to keep out anyone it wants for any reason — or for no reason at all…

…but taking this ban at face value and not delving into the multiple facets that comprise the complex situation that is currently ongoing in Israel, it punishes any person who holds a passport that was issued by Israel — no matter what are his or her political, ideological, or religious beliefs or stances. That is unfair, in my opinion. Applying a blanket ban simply because someone holds a passport that was issued by a certain country does not solve any problems. In fact, I believe doing so only exacerbates the situation.

Feel free to switch both the Republic of Maldives and Israel with other nations. The same holds true regardless of the countries involved, in my opinion.

The Republic of Maldives is not the only sovereign nation which bans holders of passports that are issued by Israel. That distinction is shared with Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen. As one example, Lebanon has a similar ban — but then again, Lebanon and Israel have technically been at war for years; and conflict has once again intensified because Hezbollah has been attacking northern Israel with rockets and bombs.

Many people have conflated this ban to assume that it includes all people who are Jewish. I can understand why someone would jump to that conclusion; but Jewish people who do not hold a passport that was issued by Israel are still free to visit the country. Many Jewish people are choosing not to visit the Republic of Maldives as a result of the ban. Perhaps anti-Semitism is involved in this decision; but Mohamed Muizzu stopped short of outright saying that in his decree.

I have never visited the Republic of Maldives; but I have been told time and time again by other travelers who have been there that it is highly overrated, extremely expensive, and that other countries such as the Seychelles offer similar environments and experiences — regardless of the controversies in which the Republic of Maldives have been embroiled.

What are your thoughts? Would you still visit the Republic of Maldives?

  1. I’ve never had any interest in spending the miles/money to go to the Maldives. While the water looks beautiful, there are many beautiful tropical ocean destinations that are far cheaper and more accessible.

    This decision is just another reason to avoid the country. Which of course is not skin off their nose to not have me, lol!

    So if the Maldives is so committed to supporting Palestinians, I’m sure they’d be glad to take in a bunch of refugees, right? Maybe rent some of the overwater bungalows if they don’t have room elsewhere? Yeah don’t hold your breath.

    1. Some Palestinians do not want to be refugees (Maldives or otherwise) because of a genuine fear and knowledge that Israel would ban them from ever entering Gaza again. There is already frustration that they were run out of their homes in Israel in 1948 and are banned from going back.

      The problem is complex. I would not want to be born Palestinian.

    2. I am disgusted by the idea that whoever sympathizes with palentine should take them in their land because they want to live in their own land, otherwise we won’t have this conflict today. It is the exact same idea of the Israeli settlers, and they are even blocking the aid and attacking the aid trucks. I am just having really hard time understanding why some people would do such a nasty thing: starve children intentionally because they want their political goal to be achieved…

  2. The purpose of the ban is probably to show displeasure without hurting themselves too much. I suppose they could have had a targeted ban on Netanyahu entering the Maldives but he’s not going to go there anyway.

  3. I support all and any pressure that the international community can put on Israel to dismantle the Zionist project and bring equality to all those living in the land that was called Palestine until 1948.

    It looks like the incoming Labour govt here in the UK will impose many, many travel bans on settlers and other Israelis accused of violence against Palestinians and I welcome that (whilst pressuring them to go much further).

    The apartheid regime in South Africa was finally ended when international sanctions and pressure made it untenable to continue. I believe we will see the same in Palestine within my lifetime.

    Netanyahu hoped to destroy Hamas but he’s succeeded in destroying Israel. The world cannot unsee what we have seen for the past eight months and cannot unlearn what we have learned about the previous eight decades.

    1. Its not a project you anti-Semitic piece of shit, its a real country, like the US and Canada (who actually stole the land outright). Leave us alone you fuck and go back to whatever white, settler-colonial hick place you are from.

      1. Thanks for your considered and well-mannered response lol

        As you say, the land previously-called Palestine was stolen by Western colonial powers and given to Israeli settlers. But it was never ours to give and should be given back without delay.

        Israel is a settler colony, which exists only at the expense of the people who are indigenous to that land, and because of the support of the US and other Western powers.

        But – just like South Africa – the regime will fall one day and everyone will share the land peacefully and with equality for all.

        Anyone who’s chosen to settle in Palestine is free to leave and go back home if they don’t like that.

  4. Maldives is a theocracy. By law all Maldivians must practice and adhere to Islam. The bulk of tourists don’t understand anything about the country itself, because they don’t get any exposure to the “real” Maldives in the course of getting between their home country and their resort in the Maldives. Anyway, if you understand the government of the Maldives, then this ban would come as less of a surprise.

    Would I go back to the Maldives? You’re right about the pricing, and it probably is possible to replicate much or all of the experience elsewhere. That said, it is unique in the number of upscale, private island hotels which can be booked with points. And MLE has lots of long-haul international service, so it’s also fairly easy to get there on miles. The ease of being able to go to for next to nothing keeps it in the realm of consideration for me, but by the same token I wouldn’t have gone for a paid stay before or after this ban.

  5. The article, author, and comments did not disappoint. If all this travel has not fixed your blind spots, I am not sure what will. Maldives will be ok without <1% of tourists, but will you be without your referral commissions, Brian? Maybe you are hoping for a temporary traffic boost. Free, unsolicited advice: Kindly stick to your strength: peddle miles and points points rather than myopic geopolitics perspectives. Cheers!

    1. Thank you for your free, unsolicited advice, david.

      If all you think I do is “peddle miles and points points” and that that is my strength, that is a clear indication that you are not a regular reader of this weblog.

      I am really thrilled that you have my best interests in mind; but as such, I will continue to write about what interests me. I do not need any “temporary traffic boosts”.

      Cheers to you as well!

  6. Where is this fictional Palestine that people keep talking about? There is only Israel – and that is how it will stay as the “Palestinians” have shown how much they can be trusted to run their own country.

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