Things I didn’t like about Traveling To Israel

My trip to Israel was nothing short of amazing and the one reason that I was invited to the country was to experience it.  The only thing that was asked of me by the Once In The Lifetime 2.0 Crew was that I talk about my experience in the country.  They didn’t ask to talk about anything in particular they simply told me to write.  I’ve talked at length about all of the great things that I experienced (still more to come), things I learned, and even the new friends that I made.

I haven’t talked about are the things that I didn’t like

Anytime you visit any country in the world there are both positive and negative experiences.  There are two things that I personally didn’t like, one of which can’t be changed and is a matter of personal opinion and the other should be changed if the country really wants to support its tourism.

The Extremists

It seems when you mention the word Israel people drop their cookbooks and come to the dinner table to talk about how Israel is the devil or how everyone should come to Israel’s defense.  It’s a very complicated problem with an extremely difficult resolution.

I’m not here to pick sides but I am here to tell all the extremists, including our very own travel blogger who decided he was going to be Vana White in this contest, to listen to the other side of the story.

Don’t just open your mouth and assume you’re right.

Most conflicts have a legitimate dispute on both sides of the story.  Don’t forget to buy your beauty products Vana.

Stamping of the Passports

This is where I have some beef, some good Argentinean beef.  I know of many people that have traveled to Israel and have asked the customs agent not to stamp their passport.  I asked many people and googled this very topic and the end result was the following: if the customs agent was asked to not stamp the passport a paper would be given to you and that’s it.  I was specifically invited by the Ministry of Tourism to tour the country and give my opinion on what I experienced.

I can’t thank everyone enough that was involved in the process

It truly was a chance of a lifetime. Knowing that I am a travel blogger and plan on traveling to countries in the Middle East you would think they would consider that when I was entering Israel.  The very fact that I now may have problems entering countries I planned on visiting like Djoubti should have been a consideration,  this problem could have easily been averted.  I’m even going to have trouble traveling to Dubai which is one my top destinations.

the dead sea, dead sea jordan

It’s not that the country of Israel doesn’t have the right to stamp your passport.  If you are traveling to Israel, you are to abide by their laws and regulations.  What I don’t appreciate is that some people’s passports are stamped and others are not.  I specifically asked to not have my passport stamped and it was stamped anyway, same with a counterpart that was on the trip to Israel with me.

Israeli Stamp on passport, isreali stamp

The Isreali Stamp on my passport

As nearly as 2 years ago a close friend was traveling through the Middle East and entered Israel twice.  Upon the first entry, the customs official didn’t stamp the passport, but on the second entry the official stamped the passport right after she asked not to have it stamped.

They have the right to stamp your passport but make it clear to tourists which it’s going to be. I could have easily obtained a second passport from the United States to avoid not being able to enter the countries I really wanted to visit.

Below are the countries that don’t allow you to enter with an Israeli stamp with the research I have done:

  • Algeria
  • Bangladesh
  • Brunei
  • Djibouti
  • Iran
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Malaysia (Clearance permit needed from the Ministry of Internal Security
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar (Clearance permit needed from the Ministry of Internal Security.)
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan (South Sudan is ok has reached out to Israel for diplomatic relations)
  • Syria
  • Yemen


  1. You hit the nail right on the head Elizabeth.. one of the things that I really liked about the Once in Lifetime crew is that they didn’t force any of their views on us.. and they wouldn’t talk about anything unless we specifically asked about it.. very professional on their part

  2. I’ve been to Israel twice and had to get a second ‘clean’ passport in order to visit what used to be a longer list of ‘hostile’ countries. It *is* very irritating.

    On the extremists… they will always exist and there will always be too many of them 🙁

  3. Till your passport is valid, You can’t entry any of these countries..There is no sense in this. Guides mostly desperately wants to “explaine the situation”, giving You their point of view.Same happened to me in Israel, and in Croatia and Serbia

    1. I’ve also heard that Syria and Lebanon particularly are on to the second passport thing because it actually says thats its a secondary passport and that they still refuse you entry as they assume you’ve been to Israel. 

      I just came back from 6 weeks in the Middle East and, as I was planning on a lot of land border crossings so I opted to get the stamp as trying to avoid all the neighboring stamps would’ve been far too complicated. That and my passport expires in a couple years… 

      Also heard Malaysia wasn’t a problem with the stamp. It’s problem if you have an Israeli passport… 

    1. I specifically asked to not be stamped.. they stamped it anyway. Same thing happened to a friend.. apparently it depends on whether the customs agent likes you or not. Thanks for the comment Zzella

  4. I know this post is from a few years ago, but just thought you might be interested to know that they no longer stamp your passport. I just spent 3 weeks in Israel with 40 other people my age on a Birthright trip and all of us got a small paper to keep to our passport indicating “this serves as a substitute for a stamp in your passport”. Hopefully your passport stamping experience hasn’t chased you away from Israel forever! 🙂

  5. Having never heard of any problems having an Israeli stamp (or five), in my passport, I have traveled to both Brunei and Malaysia (both within the past 12 months) and never had a problem of any kind. Not once did immigration in either country even bat an eye about those stamps.
    I believe this is Urban Travel Legend.

    Nothing on Malaysian immigration website says anything about having an Israeli stamp in your passport. It does say that those holding an Israeli passport need to apply for a special visa.

    Just FYI.

  6. Hahaha..its realy funny… Yeah if you Come with Israel Stamp Passport we we never allow you inter in Pakistan 🙁

  7. In other words it seems, based on what you experience, that the decision of stamping the passport or not is totally random and… they don’t really listen to anybody’s specific needs. It’s like they did it on purpose?

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