“Never in my life has anything like this happened to me”: Israeli tourists on a trip to Jordan prevented from entering the country after border officials disrespect their tefillin
It has been reported that a group of Israeli tourists attempting to visit Jordan were prevented from entering the country because the border guards found Jewish religious items in their baggage.
During a security check at the border, the group of seven men, part of a larger group of approximately forty insurance agents on a two-day trip to Jordan, were apparently asked to open their suitcases. When they did so, officials found their tefillin (phylacteries) before taking their passports and taking them into another room.
The border guards reportedly said that the group were not allowed to take their tefillin sets into Jordan because they were religious signs and the Jews could be victimised for wearing them.
Tense negotiations followed for two hours, in which the border guards allegedly refused to grasp the significance of the items.
After this, the tourists decided not to join the rest of the larger group and returned to Israel.
Amit, one of the group, said: “Never in my life has anything like this happened to me anywhere I have travelled around the world. It’s bizarre to do something like that to you because of your beliefs. I have been putting on tefillin since by bar mitzvah, for 28 years every morning. If they were doing it to a Christian or a Muslim person, then I’m sure there would have been a whole story and a mess over it.”
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