Israel protests US warning on Eilat

Meseznikov: "This advisory gives a prize to terror."

Stas Meseznikov 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Stas Meseznikov 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A US State Department advisory issued Friday warning Americans against visiting Israel following last week’s rocket attacks on Eilat and Akaba raised the ire of Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov.
The travel warning advises US citizens to avoid travelling to Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The report says that Americans who visit Israel should be aware of the potential dangers, and should not go to Gaza at all, and that Americans in Eilat and the rest of southern Israel should keep track of the closest bomb shelter.
Meseznikov intends to meet with US ambassador James Cunningham early this week to protest the travel advisory, especially the decision to single out Eilat but not Akaba, despite the fact that the rockets’ only fatality was in the Jordanian city.
“This advisory gives a prize to terror and undermines regional stability and the sense of security that Israel gives to everyone who enters the country,” Meseznikov said. “Differentiating Israel from its neighbor that actually suffered loss of life is improper.”
Sources close to Meseznikov said it was not the first time that American travel advisories had discriminated against Israel. They said that when Meseznikov complained in the past, the American Embassy in Tel Aviv and the State Department in Washington pointed fingers at each other.
Meseznikov instructed Israeli tourism attachés around the world over the weekend to spread word that Eilat was safe.