Cruise ship captain acquiesced: Israelis barred from entering Tunis


Non-Israeli Jewish passenger were allowed to disembark and that the ship personnel kept it all a secret.


Israeli tourists aboard a Norwegian cruise ship were barred from disembarking in the Port of Tunis Sunday. They were forced to remain on the “Norwegian Jade”, while non-Israeli Jewish passengers were allowed off.

Cruise ship, illustrative

Cruise liner Pacific Princess, June 3, 2010 – Photo: Carnival Cruise Lines

A Jewish Canadian passenger on the ship who preferred to remain nameless told Haaretz that there were approximately 20 Israelis on the ship and that at first, no one knew they were denied entry because “the ship kept it a secret.” They only found out because some had become friendly with a few Israelis on board.

“We met with the Captain twice and his story kept up that he was waiting for instructions from head office in Miami…We told him he was making a political statement by not allowing the Israelis to leave the ship and he said it was out of his hands. We reminded him that he was the Captain,” the passenger said, adding that a “handful” of them decided to remain on board.

He said they were told there were more Israelis on the MSC Line ship that was docked next to them in Tunis.

According to a report in Algemeiner, B’nai Brith Canada issued a statement criticizing the operator Norwegian Cruise Line for failing to notify passengers ahead of time that they were not welcome on Tunisian soil by the government.

B’nai Brith said in a statement quoted in the report that the cruise line is not only responsible for advising passengers of such a “discriminatory policy” in advance, but should try to avoid ports with such politics altogether.

The ship was docked in Tunis for the day and is already back at sea.


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