Vatican should help build bridges between Israel and its neighbors


Crux, 2 June 2017

Sixteen Muslim countries – Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen – simply forbid Israeli passport holders entry. Period. There is little Vatican diplomacy could do to reverse the general ban on Israel at the border, but there might be small practical steps that might be proposed; some exceptions to the rule which might open a path toward future reform.

The first foreign trip of President Trump included a much commented upon direct flight from Riyadh to Tel Aviv, something otherwise not permitted.

Why’s that? Because many Muslim countries place restrictions on Israeli travel.

Israel is routinely banned at the border, so routine that it is literally unremarkable. Governments never raise it.

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