Israeli Family Ordered to Leave 'Jewish Stuff' Behind at Jordanian Border, Mother Says

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The Yitzhak Rabin/Araba border crossing between Israel and Jordan
A border crossing between Israel and Jordan.Credit: NYC2TLV

An Israeli family of five from Jerusalem decided to cancel their vacation to Jordan after receiving a discriminatory welcome at the border, where the father and two boys were told to leave behind their yarmulkes and other "Jewish stuff," the mother wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.

"We prepared thoroughly ahead of time with a perfect hotel and a Jordanian chauffeur," wrote Tamar Gvirtz-Hayardeni. "But no one prepared us for the farce that awaited us at the border: The Jordanians took the crocheted yarmulkes off the heads of my two boys and their father and insisted they be returned to Israel!"

Gvirtz-Hayardeni continued in consternation, "We promised to hide them in our bags for the entire trip (as we intended to do anyway) ... but the border officials said that 'Jewish stuff' can't be brought into Jordan and that, of course, this was only out of concern for our safety."

According to Gvirtz-Hayardeni, the family was finally convinced that the Jordanian officials harbored an anti-Jewish bias when "an Israeli man was surprisingly brought into the room, accused of brazenly bringing tefillin to Jordan. Then we understood that the Jordanians may want Israelis, but they don't want Jews."

The family subsequently decided to cancel their trip and Gvirtz-Yardeni called on other Israeli travelers to avoid trips to Jordan in light of her experience at the border.

According to Channel 2, the Foreign Ministry is "quietly investigating" the reported incident, and deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely summoned the Jordanian ambassador for a talk. 

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