Petra: safe destination for Jews?

Sep 23rd, 2006, 06:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 217
Petra: safe destination for Jews?

We may be visiting Israel in March 2007. Is Jordan/Petra safe for Jews?
jmf314159 is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2006, 09:45 AM
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Petra is safe for anyone.
Israelis are always in Jordan, many arriving via Eilat. Go and enjoy yourself, no one is going to ask your religion, nor care.
Sep 23rd, 2006, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 867
Egypt is OK, too. Israelis have vacationed in South Sinai in Egypt for a while. They don't even need a visa if they stay within a certain number of kilometers from the border.

Lebanon is OK, too.

On the other hand, Palestine or Syria or Kuwait won't let people in their countries if they are foreigners who have an Israeli stamp on their passports. And no Israeli's are allowed there.

If you're nervous, I've heard that the Israelis will issue you something that is not a part of your regular passport to show your arrival & departure from the country so that there will be nothing in the passport revealing that you were there.
sunshine007 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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we went to Petra from Eliat (8/06) and it was uncomfortable being a Jew but worse being an American. I got lectured about G. Bush war mongering and invading other countries....being in Jordan we were not used to the amount of bribes/kickbacks/asking for money (in restaurants, beggars, the horse ride guys) we had to pay. The price of things changed from the time you asked "how much is this lunch/souvenir/ride?" to when you went to pay for it. I kissed the Israeli security guards (and admired the first clean bathroom in 2 days) when we returned to Eliat.
elmom is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 07:18 PM
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I found your comments very interesting. We are American and Jewish and plan on visiting Egypt in Dec. We ended up not taking the Petra side trip because it's cost prohibitive in conjunction with the rest of our itinerary.
But I wonder if we will be lectured in Egypt (not that it would stop us from going.) Have others had that experience in Jordan or Egypt?
Lindsey is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 01:02 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Do you think that the "kickbacks" and "bribes" you spoke of were directed at you as Jews - or Americans? I've lived and travelled in the Middle East and North Africa for 10 years now and I've seen tourists of all nationalities and creeds pass through. The fact is, there are a lot of very poor people in these areas who see very comparatively rich people passing by them every day. Begging is not the same as "bribing" or getting a kickback. The first is seen as somethig that is unfortunate, the latter as something immoral - did you mean to put that value judgment in there?

The price changes in these cultures according to what you can pay - just like it does in Thailand, India, Indonesia and in most of the world outside of the USA and Europe. Decide what the good or service is worth to you and haggle for it - everyone else does and its part of the experience.
jenmaroc is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 03:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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elmom - you have jumbled together all sorts of things - cleanliness of bathrooms, bribes, tips, varialbe pricing (isn't that like buying an airline ticket or a car?), religion, and anti-George Bush rants.

I can not find one of these things that I think is related to any other thing in the group.

And, with no offense meant to any religion or nationality (and perhaps showing my ignorance as a middle-aged white woman), how would a casual observer know what religion someone was - excluding obvious religious jewelery, head coverings, Orthodox dress, etc.
gail is offline  
Sep 27th, 2006, 04:56 AM
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elmom -

What do dirty bathrooms have to do with being Jewish? Have you seen some bathrooms along the highways and biways in the US?

Baksheesh is a way of life in the the Middle East as is bargaining for everything... just the way it is.

And, I've been in more countries than I can count where locals "beg" - it's not pretty, rather unfortunate.

All has to be put into perspective of the destination visiting. And something you should know before getting on that silver bullet to anyplace.

But as to being Jewish, again, no one asks, it's not shown on your US passport.
Sep 27th, 2006, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,274
My dad was in the Australian Army in the Middle East/North Africa in the Second World War, and I can remember him telling me about 'baksheesh.'

I suspect those who parade their nationality in a particular way are likely to become the target of some 'lecturing'. They're the ones (whether they're my own nationality, American, Brit or whatever) who I find most obnoxious.

afrigalah is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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In November of 1995, a day after Rabin's assination, we left for a tour of Israel. When that ended, we continued on to Eliat. We stayed there for a few days, and then took a tour that we had booked from home, from Eliat to Petra, stopping in Wada Rum for lunch, and in Aman for an hour or so.

I asked a shop keeper in Aman if I could use his bathroom and he was very obliging .... it was OK, but would have been much nicer if there had been a door on it

I can't remember the company's name, as it was booked separately from the Israelli tour. If I remember correctly, the tour was from Tel Aviv to Eliat, Eliat to Petra, back to Eliat and a few days later back to Tel Aviv for the flight home.

We were able to choose our hotel in Eliat and the price for the entire thing was very reasonable, much cheaper than booking it on our own - especially the lovely hotel.

I wouldn't do it alone, too much hassle and I'm sure that any travel agent can give you the name of a company that books these tours.

It was an overnight stay in Petra, with all meals included and a more than enough time in Petra itself. We never felt rushed.

I had never envisioned myself in an Arab country, but ever he saw since Indiana Jones, DH knew that he would see Petra one day.

At that time Jordan had recently signed a treaty with Israel and so we went in with no problems.

Once we crossed the border, we had an armed Jordanian guard on the bus who was us at all times. We were told that that was one of the the requirements for a bus coming in from Israel. There were no problems, except the long delays at the border even though there were few people coming in.

About 6:00AM, while at the hotel in Petra, which was not too far from the site, there was a massive earthquake. It did quite a bit of damage to Jordan, Eliat and Egypt.

You don't know what fear is until you duck under a doorway in a hotel that looks like it is made of plaster of Paris ... Otherwise the hotel was fine and we enjoyed our stay there.

There was minor damage to Petra itself, but if our guide hadn't point it out, we never would have known.

We left Eliat in the morning and returned late the follow afternoon, giving us more than enough time to relax and have a nice dinner. We hadn't bothered to check out our Eliat hotel, we just left our things there overnight.

Our brand new hotel in Eliat, sustained some damage, broken windows, falling plaster etc.. but nothing major and no one was hurt. Prior to our return, they had removed our TV because it had fallen over and smashed and they cleaned up the plaster that fell off. We hadn't told them that we were leaving for the night and no one seemed to notice. Business as usual.

It was well worth the visit and I am so glad that we went. Being Jewish and American was never an issue - but that was 11 years ago, and the political climate was much different, so I don't know about now.

There was substantial earthquake damage to Aman, and I've always wondered if that little bathroom made it - maybe if they had earthquake insurance, they had a new door put on it.

Check with your nearest Israel Consulate/Embassy.

Nina66 is offline  

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