May 12, 2009

Absurd Jewish Flight Path to India
Jerusalem, Israel and the Palestinian Territories

I came across this little piece of international absurdity a few weeks ago, while researching potential exit strategies from the Middle East.

India is such a popular destination for young Israelis that I had so see how much flights were going for out of Tel Aviv. Noticing discrepancies in the amount of time necessary for a flight to reach Mumbai on Israeli's national carrier, El Al, I dug a little deeper.

What I uncovered is this ridiculous flight path that requires Israelis to fly through the tip of the country into the Red Sea, and then proceed over international waters (effectively bypassing neighboring Arab states). I've been told that El Al is the only airline that Israelis can take to India because Israelis aren't even allowed to travel through the airspace above their regional neighbors!

An Israeli passport is actually a very good passport to have (as far as visa-free countries go), and is particularly easy to get. You really need only claim you're a Jew (converted or otherwise), move to Israel for a year or so, and collect your passport—not a bad deal if you come from a country where your passport doesn't take you anywhere. The only real drawback to the Israeli passport is that is shuts several doors around the world, particularly the Arab countries that have an undying beef with the Jews.




September 18th, 2009

Wow, visa-free to Russia? That's a good one. No help with Belarus and China, though.

And no visa waiver for the USA? That's kind of a surprise. Seems like USA, Russia, and China are the places people have the most trouble with.


Craig |

September 18th, 2009

No doubt, but there are so many Russian Jews that I'm sure it'd be a bureaucratic nightmare if they didn't allow it.

The United States


October 23rd, 2009

Ok, so a lot of that isn't actually true.
1) Israeli's CAN take other carriers to India, but El Al offers special tickets have flexible dates (they never know how long they're going to stay). You can fly Royal Jordanian for 1/2 the price of El Al, but the latter allows the Israelis to change their ticket, extend their stay, etc. without penalty
2) it is NOT easy to get an Israeli passport. Having gone through it myself, I can tell you, it's not an easy process. Proving that you're Jewish, even someone like myself who is completely and totally Jewish, requires more work than you'd think. I can only imagine how hard it must be for people who have converted (you need letters from Rabbis, all kinds of stuff)



May 2nd, 2010

I think I'm a little late in commenting on this article. The above stated fact is absurd, indeed. However, what caught my eye: was this flying route. Israel recognizes Indian sovereignty over whole of Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. It seems a little odd to me that PoK(Pakistan occupied Kashmir) is shown as a territory of Pakistan. Considering that El Al is the National Airline of Israel, it's strange that El Al doesn't consider it's Government's stated position on Kashmir.

United Arab Emirates


July 18th, 2013

the map its old now ukraina its free visa for israeli cytizens and soon this years or next years belarus free visa and now kirghizstan free visa for one mounth and tadjikistan visa on arrival and jordan free visa for one mounth and the chinease visa very easy for our to have chinease visa for israeli people

Note: Comments are open to everyone. To reduce spam and reward regular contributors, only submissions from first-time commenters and/or those containing hyperlinks are moderated, and will appear after approval. Hateful or off-topic remarks are subject to pruning. Your e-mail address will never be publicly disclosed or abused.