Israeli Passport Sticker Raises Eyebrows At Beirut Airport

Filed Under: Travel

I wanted to share my experience yesterday upon landing in Beirut, since I ran into a (slight) issue I wasn’t anticipating.

My experience entering Lebanon

Yesterday I landed at Beirut Airport, and immigration was a mess. There were only about two dozen people ahead of me, but there were two immigration officers working, and their workflow is a very manual process, and it takes minutes to process each passenger.

I had observed the two immigration officers, and the counter I was called over to definitely had the guy who was more “thorough,” to put it politely. He took his time with everyone.

He thumbed through every single page of my passport multiple times and looked at every single stamp in there. My passport has double pages, so it’s huge.

He looked at the back cover of my passport where security stickers were located (typically these are placed on when you’re asked security questions at check-in), and started peeling them off so he could see all the places they’re from.

“Where are you coming from?”
“From Paris, and before that from the US.”
“You are coming from the Middle East?”
“No, I am coming from Paris.”
“Show me your boarding pass.”
“Where are you coming from?”
“Paris…”

The guy kept looking through my passport. Then he showed the passport to a colleague. Then he said “follow me.”

He brought me to an office, and photocopied the picture page of my passport, and also photocopied the back cover of my passport, which I found unusual. I get photographing my picture page, but the back cover?

He left that copy on a desk, and I figured I’d have to sit down in the office and wait for someone, but he said “follow me.” He walked me through immigration, so I figured I was going to some other room, but instead he said “go.”

And I was off.

So, what happened?

At first I was confused on several levels:

  • Was he just confused by how many stamps I had?
  • What was the point of just keeping a copy of my passport but not questioning me further?
  • Why did he make a copy of the back cover of my passport?

I should mention at this point that I’m aware that Lebanon has issues with Israel. Many countries in the region do.

I visited Israel a couple of years ago, and repeatedly people have told me “well they won’t let you into X country if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport.” Maybe this was a problem in the past, but nowadays Israel doesn’t stamp passports. Rather they just give you a sheet of paper when you enter the country, because they’re aware of this problem.

But then something occurred to me. While I didn’t have an Israeli stamp in my passport, I did have an Israeli security sticker on the back cover of my passport. This is a sticker that’s placed on the back of your passport after you’re questioned at Ben Gurion Airport. It’s yellow and has a barcode.

I didn’t even realize it was on there, though my guess is that this guy noticed it and knew to be on the lookout for it, and that was the problem. At least that’s the only reason I can come up with for his obsession with the back cover of my passport.

Bottom line

Fortunately this wasn’t a big deal and I was quickly sent on my way, but this was a good reminder for me. While Israel doesn’t stamp passports, they do place security stickers on the back of passports, so you might want to take those off if traveling elsewhere. I didn’t even realize it was on here until this situation.

I’m still curious what the point of the process was with this officer, though. I get they have issues with Israel, but does taking a photocopy of the back cover of my passport somehow make them feel better, or what did this accomplish? Are they going to be following me everywhere 24/7?

Has anyone faced a similar issue, not with an Israeli stamp, but rather with an Israeli security sticker?

Comments
  1. They may be (legitimately) concerned with Israeli informants inside Lebanon and if something happens while you’re on the ground there they can investigate it.

  2. Just go and eat at Em Sheriff and you’ll forget this happened.

    They looked at every single page of my passport too when I entered Beirut. Nothing else happened.

    Enjoy! I loved my time there.

  3. I’m sure they added you to their database. He didn’t take the photocopy for no reason. I’m sure you may get flagged when going their security when leaving. Wouldn’t worry about it too much.

  4. If I recall correctly, don’t you have a German passport as well as a US one? Why not, in future, avoid using your US passport, that’s been touched by the Israelis, when traveling elsewhere in the Middle East?

  5. You’re probably lucky not to have been turned away/deported, if they think there’s evidence you’ve been to Israel it’s basically at the officer’s discretion – he probably thought it was too much hassle or he wasn’t 100% certain. I’ve heard of people being refused because of the Ben Gurion security sticker – though I seem to remember a red and white one with a Hebrew letter? – so you should be careful with those.

    Also, if you want to decrease the political comments, this may not have been the best topic!

  6. yup! you gonna be followed since so many of israeli secret agents are already there and operating, can’t do anything just be aware you’re being watched

  7. Do people not peel off the security tickers on the back afterward? Maybe it is just be but to me they are ugly as hell and annoy the crap out of me, not to mention if they are worn they leave the back a sticky mess. It is a souvenir thing? That’s what passport stamps are for, no?

  8. Time to clean up the stickers Ben. He probably took a copy so he could use it as a training exercise for other agents who hadn’t seen as many stickers in a long time.

  9. Isreal has been using white stickers for a while now, and only now are they not entirely Latin alphanumeric. Many other countries use similar ones so I doubt they realized

  10. Yeah, I take those security stickers off the back of my passport as soon as I’m on the plane. The only thing on the back of my passport is the bar code thingy for the Hong Kong e-gates.

  11. “He looked at the back cover of my passport where security stickers were located (typically these are placed on when you’re asked security questions at check-in), and started peeling them off so he could see all the places they’re from.”

    This is why you immediately peel off those stickers as soon as you are on the plane, so that they can never be observed, questioned, or photographed. They technically should not even be placed on your passport in the first place, but good luck convincing airport personnel not to do it; they’ll still do it. Do yourself a favor and peel them off as soon as you are on the plane. If you want to keep them as a souvenir glue them into your scrapbook at home.

  12. I couldn’t believe you are going to Lebanon in the first place. Then you wrote that you are taking several of your family members with you. Now you are saying you entered the country with an Israeli sticker on your passport 🙂
    I hope your trip goes well and there are no sudden developments in the region that can affect your ability to leave.

  13. There is an armistice between the two countries but not a formal peace treaty. As @Moshe says, you lucked out that they allowed you into the country. Gotta get familiar with the history to understand animosity.

    Since the 1948 Hula massacre (when the Israeli troops occupied without any resistance the Lebanese village of Hula expelling women and children and murdering 60 men aged between 15-60 in a house which was later blown up on top of them) there has been numerous Israeli incursions (by military, Mossad, etc.) into Lebanon causing up to 25K+ mostly Arab civilians deaths.

  14. My spider senses say you are probably being watched too!

    Thanks for the infos..ill be sure to peel my stickers off from now on..you never know what officer in what country may or may not be drawn to them!

  15. When you depart BEY, be prepared for no fewer than 3 people to also flip through every single page of your passport, including one last time on the jet bridge. I go trough the diplomat/UN immigration line, and it happens to me every single time.

    Lebanon considers itself to still be at war with Israel, and people have absolutely been detained and/or deported, but I have heard of some officers being more lenient. Last year, the Lebanese-French director Ziad Doueiri (who was later nominated for an Oscar) was detained and accused of treason. See: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/world/middleeast/lebanon-director-treason.html

    Also, while travelers may not have stamps at TLV, there will be stamps if they crossed the land/bridge border into or from Jordan. At some of those borders, you may be able to ask them to stamp something else though.

  16. I went to Lebanon last year (also Israel/Palestine the year before), yes I did remove all the sticks at the back of the passport, just in case.

    @lucky, Lebanon is definitely the favorite country I’ve been to. Taking those informal buses is actually quite easy and fun. It’s definitely a great experience. I had no problem with it traveling from Tripoli to Beirut to Sidon to Tyre to Anajar to Baalbak to Zahle!

    Leaving Beirut Airport is quite a pain though, it’s even more complicated than the TLV airport!

  17. Oh forgot to mention, we probably flew the same plane, I remember those seats! Also the MEA Cedar Lounge is great!!

  18. Lucky?!!! Why don’t you just tell the world that you are Secret Agent 0058, code name “Smiling Bear”.

    Hey Lucky, the bird fly south in winter…

  19. For being well-traveled, you certainly aren’t a very intrepid traveler.

    This is SOP. You could have easily Googled this and found it’s a very common thing.

  20. I am glad you post this. I will be removing all the stickers off of mine so it doesn’t raise red flags.

  21. It is a shame. That country allows Hizbelloh, an acknowledged terrorist group, to set their policies. Israel has no reason to hate Lebanon, so Lebanon should have no reason to hate their neighbor. This was the only neighbor or Israel that stayed at peace in 1948 and 1967.

  22. Note: Israel *does* still stamp your passports – just not at the airports. If you come across at the Eilat border crossing, you’ll be stamped. Ask me how I know… Now I have the joys of a second passport so I can travel to certain other countries. I even have to “season” it with stamps from other regions… Kinda cray.

  23. Just think if it was the other way around – coming into Israel with Lebanese stickerts, it wouldnt have ended with a simple conversation….

  24. Think of the stories you will tell your grand kids if you were thrown into the Lebanese prison on suspicion of being an Israeli spy for a couple of weeks. If you need extraction activate ghost protocol.

  25. These are plain silly, babyish polices the Arab world has been been clinging onto for some time – like not letting Israelis travel on Arab airlines, not calling Israel by its name, etc…. In this case, the same country that allows a terrorist army (Hezbollah, translation “party of god”) operate within its borders with impunity. Hopefully these strong men politicians and their sheepish, naive populations get their priorities straight in the near future.

  26. Actually I would be more concerned with flying into Israel as they have a ridiculous process of harassing and interrogating tourists. As a white American Christian I feel safer flying into Jordan, Oman or even the UAE. I’ll see the Dead Sea from Jordan. I think the whole global system of customs and border/passport control is skewed. Even in the U.S., citizens or tourists get burdened by a stupid system at airports yet illegals get free college education and medical care in California.

  27. While a lot of countries have issues with Israel in the region, Lebanon has a long and complicated history with its southern neighbor that totally warrants additional scrutiny at their borders. A short history lesson on the Lebanese Civil War, Israel’s occupation of Lebanon in 1982, and the complicated alliance between largely Christian Lebanese Militia groups and Israel would be in order (to get started, read more about the South Lebanon Army). Add to this the ongoing conflict between Hezbollah (whose Political division is an elected party in the Lebanese government) and Israel (who invaded Lebanon in 2006 on the pretense of retaliating against Hezbollah), and you can see why Lebanon would want to track folks that have visited Israel within their borders. With all of that said, Lebanon is an amazing country that you will thoroughly enjoy. Have a great time and enjoy the culture, food, and amazing people!

  28. Would love to see a trip report and hear what you thought about Beirut at some point – I’ve always wanted to visit

  29. Once again (second time in less than 24 hours) you show incredible naiveté and a complete lack of common sense. You ought to know better. And add a name that might raise eyebrows in certain parts of the middle east…sheesh, no life experience, no sense. As posted above, rookie mistake.

    Why in heaven’s name don’t you just remove any sticker after it’s been applied to your passport? That’s what most rational people do.

  30. You did not notice you have a bunch of messy stickers covering the whole back of your passport in multiple layers? Why do you keep them?

  31. Where is the new commenting policy on this post? There are a handful of borderline bigotry comments that add nothing to the discussion regarding the immigration rules at the airport. Comments against both Israeli and Arab views.

    I agree with the others, Lucky you need to know the rules of the country you are entering. Not saying you didn’t but you allowed yourself to make a silly mistake. They could easily now find the blog and all of your posts about visiting Israel leading to potential difficulties on exit of the country.

  32. I had a chinese malay friend (with US passport) get the third degree because an israeli security sticker [5/6] so he was throughly questioned in Israel and then his passport photographed [front and back] in Beruit but they let me continue [exiting Beriut in transit]. Lesson learned, remove certain security stickers…

    My friend is concerned he will not be permitted to enter Lebenon again.

  33. Lucky, while it might be fun collecting stamps from different countries (I save all my old passports), it is probably best not to leave stickers on the back of your passport as the only thing it will do is arouse curiosity and you don’t need that from any customs official. It is an official government piece of ID afterall. I am saure it is bad enough being a single male, even with your partner (different last name), travelling to so many places, so often for short stays and having to explain why to suspicious customs officers. Fly under the radar as much as possible.

  34. @ Jeff H — You should see the ones I’ve deleted!

    We’re obviously learning here, but trying to take the approach of leaving stuff that is “maybe not perfectly informed or politically correct, but doesn’t seem to be hateful, so…”. We really don’t want to shut down the exchange of different ideas or censor where we don’t have to. But if we’ve missed something, we always appreciate the education.

  35. For most Islamic countries, there must be no evidence that you’ve visited Israel. On one trip, I went first to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel. When first visiting the Islamic countries, I did not even travel with my Israel sightseeing book or any papers about my Israel hotel reservations. I mailed them ahead of my trip to my Jerusalem hotel.

    As a result, I haven’t had any problems visiting Islamic countries.

    But, boy, have I had issues visiting Israel, including leaving Israel due to passport stamps from Islamic countries. Once when I was leaving Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport, security acted flabbergasted that I had dared to visit some Islamic countries. I was repeatedly asked why would I visit such “filthy” countries. I said because I simply love to travel and see places for myself rather than just reading about them. For 3 hours, I was grilled and my luggage searched by 5 different security, including a strip search – all because of Islamic country stamps in my passport. No other reason – I’m middle aged and conservative looking, so I don’t fit the profile of an international terrorist.

    So beware travelers.

  36. @Lucky – rookie mistake mate. I’m not sure why you let Israeli Immigration place a stamp in the passport since they provide an alternative. Furthermore, it’s best to keep a second passport for travel to Israel. I lived in Israel, Syria and Lebanon and it was important to maintain the facade that I’d never been to Israel – especially in Syria. Israeli immigration aren’t better either. The animosity between Israel and Islamic countries is very saddening. Glad they let you in – I’ve known people from being barred, including some journalist friends. Safe travels! Beirut is my favorite destination in the Middle East!

  37. @ Steve — And that’s something I’ve learned here. Surprisingly have never had issues with the stickers in any country, though going forward I’ll be peeling them off.

  38. @ Peter — It just never occurred to me to take them off, and like I said, I’ve never had issues up until now. In a way I think they even look kind of cool, though that wasn’t the primary motivator here.

  39. @ Benjamin — Can you point me to the online resources about stickers? Like I said, I didn’t even realize I had an Israeli sticker on my passport until after the fact. I’ve been to a lot of countries that have issues with Israel, and none have said anything.

  40. Just a reminder.Don’t peel the stickers off now.Peel them off after you leave the country.They got a copy of the back page.And they find a clean back page.Guess what will they think.

  41. @ Chas — The reason I didn’t use my German passport is because my US passport expires later this year, so I’m trying to save as much space in my German passport as possible. I consistently have issues with running out of pages, so my logic was to first use the passport that would be expiring soon.

  42. @Ben when you first posted that you were going to Lebanon, I was almost going to post something saying to make sure you remove your Israeli security sticker. You are lucky they let you in.

  43. Just my two cents. I think people saying Lucky made a “rookie mistake” are quite a bit off base. I think the guy knows a bit about travel. This could happen to anyone and he was just trying to raise awareness. The photo at the top of the article highlighted stamps so my feeling is he was just trying to help other people from encountering the same problem.

  44. Its Raffic Hariri International Airport btw @lucky I get it’s for simplicity but it would be nice if u mentioned it once

  45. @Lucky Thanks for this post. I was in Israel this past Oct. I will be peeling off stickers on my passport. I do travel internationally for work and missions work a few time a year. Is there a list of Countries that have issues with passports of people who have been to Israel?

  46. Or maybe don’t travel anywhere where a simple affiliation with the world’s only Jewish state is enough to get you questioned. Your advice to rip it off enables anti-Semitism, which is not surprising considering how you seem not to care at all about how gay people are treated in these countries you love traveling to.

  47. In response to all those with horror stories about entering or leaving Israel, I feel that I should add my experience from last October. It was totally pleasant. I had heard about being grilled and no one in our group was questioned at all at immigration. I’d also heard that departure security was such an ordeal. Not at all in any of our cases. We were heading on to Amman to fly home on Emirates (with a great first class fare, BTW). When we explained this to the young woman questioning us, she seemed to understand completely and that was that.

  48. @Jeff F same here. I try to keep my passport clean and neat. Having too many sticky stickers wouldn’t help with that. I also just keep my HKIA E Channel sticker on the back of my passport.

  49. “I’m aware that Lebanon has issues with Israel” Oh boy! That’s the understatement of the century! Lebanon has a very complicated political and social structure. It has a bloody history with a 15-year civil war, 2 invasions by Israel, a long history of Syrian military presence, and Palistanian refugee camps, to name only a few issues over the past 70 years.

    Not that I think it should be cause for concern, but I heard that the airport security and immigration is actually controlled by forces loyal to Hezbollah.

  50. I always remove all stickers or labels from my passport. I hate the messy appearance. The US embassies have an annoying habit of placing them all over. I always have a little confrontation with them to advise against placing any stickers on my passport. It’s not a bloody skateboard. I am surprised to hear of such an incident with you.

  51. Cushy is the travel life of one who enjoys having two or three passports. Use them at your convenience.
    Better yet, check out what’s going on in the real world in the NYT or WSJ.

  52. Holy Cow! I think you got lucky. (haha) I have a good friend from Lebanon. She has informed me of their issues with Israel. I can’t quite wrap my head around it. BUT I figure I don’t need to. Israel was plenty weird for me to potentially never want to return as it was.

  53. While it’s hard to tell for sure exactly why you got all of that extra attention, taking stickers off the back of your passport is something everyone should do anyway.

  54. While I do read your blogs and appreciate your content. I find this one to be rather stupid and typical American. You have come up with a reasoning of your own. Did the office tell you you are stopped because they suspect you are coming from Israel? Did they question you about Israel? I do stopped multiple times at immigration, this is normal and happens to the best of us.

  55. First off, I’m still a rookie world traveler and I’m sorry if this is a long comment/ story. I had renewed my passport for the first time ever, and I was going with a friend to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel for a few weeks to see all the sites and such last August. In Egypt, I had no problems with customs arriving or departing. Flying from Egypt to Jordan, it was the same, no problems. After crossing the King Hussein Bridge into Israel, I had more of a hard time. But I think it was partly because of my stuttering, which I don’t have a lot of control over, so people think I’m just nervous, even though I’m not. Plus, I had Egyptian and Jordanian stamps on my PP, which didn’t help either I’m sure. But they didn’t make a big fuss about it then like they did when I was departing Israel. When I was leaving Israel, I was asked about the stamps on my PP and I was asked why I was nervous and why I was acting “strange” when I was asked about them. I was trying to explain to the nice lady that I was part of a tour group and that I was also a stutterer. I then had to go through an extra thorough search of my carry on and such, possibly because of my stuttering. I was barely able to make my flight back to the US. I feel bad for Israel, I really do. I also know that Israel is under a constant security threat, which is terrible, and I wish travel was freer over there in that region of the world. But also, maybe because I’ve already been judged too much in my life because of my stuttering, is why I had a problem with security thinking I was nervous. But that’s just me. I’m sure I’m not the only stutterer who’s had issues with customs around the world. But all the security and such is part of international travel, and I’m still planning to go on more trips if I can despite that experience.

  56. @Lucky — It amazes me they let you in. I think anyone can forget a sticker – I often leave them there. But after having been through Beirut airport and had them pore over every single page for what others have told me are signs of having visited Israel, it strikes me that you were very lucky to gain entry. (But then that is your nickname!)

  57. Your story killed my idea to visit Lebanon

    1. Poor passport control
    Followed by
    2. Obnoxious passport control

    Let’s be serious you want me to visit your country. Understand your culture. Spend money. Go back home. Promote your country and culture.

    And that is how I am Welcomed?

    Thanks, but no thanks!

    For that reason Israel is also off my list.

  58. @Lucky. Israeli sticker issue aside – Beirut Airport is a national embarrassment for any foreigners traveling into and out of the country.

    For a country on the verge of bankruptcy and economic collapse, Lebanon’s bread and butter is tourism and the airport experience leaves many tourists with such a bad taste of the country for them to reconsider coming back again and spend their much needed dollars in the local economy.

    The security and immigration lines can be painfully slow, airport personnel can be quite rude, and there are frequent shouting matches between passengers who try to cut the lines. The existing facilities cannot cope with the shear volume of passengers it was designed for as it now also serves as the de facto international airport for Syria. The crowds at the airport last summer was absolute chaos.

    As a foreigner living in Lebanon, I have to endure this grueling experience every time I travel from here. Works are currently being done for a new fast track lane for first and business class passengers to ease overall congestion which should open by the end of May – hopefully this will help! I am finally glad the government is doing something about the airport as its quite pathetic how it became over the recent years….

  59. Dear Ben,

    thanks again for your great website. Just would like to add my feeling about what happened to your at immigration.

    I think it was really *nothing* to worry about. Simply one immigration officer doing what he perceived his work was and is.

    Think just about the Gross national product of Lebanon and how surprising the appearance of a such frequent travelling person like Ben should be for the officer.

    Many entry stamps/visas from too (?) many countries just creating curiosity. So it just could be the case that he wanted the reverse side of the passport as sample for training of colleagues.

    Or he wants to inform customs about one in his eyes very wealthy passenger arriving (and later departing). So that one can have a further look in to the baggage.

    Keep in mind the tax scandal about employees of German soccer clubs and the German Football Association trying to smuggle in expensive clocks and not paying the value added tax/customs.

    So he wasn’t just clear at the moment if you are a wealthy traveller which something to declare or not.

    Even if it is something you bring in the country, declare and then have with you when departing.

    So nothing political, nothing about having a US or German passport. Just a feeling of one officer that one wealthy person was arriving.

    Normal immigration duty and/or a bit of distraction from the daily routine at border….

    Best regards

    Gerd

  60. Heh lesson learned — clean up your passport 😉

    Technically stickers shouldn’t be placed on it anyways, not that airport security staff are going to pay attention to the rules.

  61. Run by a government full of anti-Semitic Jew haters who reject Israel’s right to exist. Is this any surprise?

    I have a dozen or so TLV stickers on my passport.

  62. Being Anti-Zionist isn’t the same as being anti-Semitic Jew haters.

    Hope your check from Bibi clears.

  63. When the single Jewish state is the only target of your criticism and discrimination you are an anti-Semite. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are increasingly two sides of the same coin. I am heavily involved and serve on boards in Jewish community organizations and regularly engage with experts on this topic.

  64. “When the single Jewish state is the only target of your criticism and discrimination you are an anti-Semite.”

    Nope. Jews are allowed to visit Lebanon provided they aren’t citizens of Israel. And that ban applies to non-Jewish citizens of Israel as well. So it isn’t anti-Semitic.

    “Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are increasingly two sides of the same coin.”

    Again, nope. This is just claptrap designed to try and silence anyone who criticizes Israel (or even expressing sympathy for the Palestinians) by trying to label them an anti-Semite.

  65. There is a lot of outdated and misinformation online regarding Israeli stamps/evidence of visits to Israel on your passport, but it’s well known that Lebanon (and a few other places like Iran & Syria) are still 100% anti-Israel and it is standard practice to deny entry to anyone who has evidence of visiting Israel.

    Ben you were lucky that you didn’t get denied entrance. The sticker was evidence enough to deny you entry, but had they dug further and pulled up this blog and seen all your posts about your visit, it would have been even worse. I was quietly wondering if your blog would have gotten you denied, but have to say that leaving the sticker on was careless and naive indeed.

    Most Arab nations have moved on and Israeli stamps are no longer a problem – I had no issues for example in Qatar, UAE, Jordan, or Oman. That said, a few countries keep up this petty policy, with Lebanon leading the pack.

  66. My previous passport with additional pages was over half filled with stamps from the GCC due to my work. I used to regularly get flak from CBP about it upon arrival.

    I only say that to say that every country can be jerks about your travel.

  67. The problem with Lebanon is that it is controlled politically and militarily by Hezbollah. With Jordan having previously made peace with Israel and the Golan Heights part of Israel Lebanon is the only country left bordering Israel to use to directly attack and infiltrate Israel. Most of the population (christians and moderate muslims) would love to live in peace with Israel.

  68. I actually flew from TLV to BEY through IST a few years ago and surprisingly had no issues. The most difficult part of entering Lebanon was the massive crowd at immigration with no semblance of a line.

  69. “but it’s well known that Lebanon … are still 100% anti-Israel”

    “That said, a few countries keep up this petty policy, with Lebanon leading the pack.”

    Well, the 2 countries are still at war, and Israel does still occupy Lebanese land…

    “The problem with Lebanon is that it is controlled politically and militarily by Hezbollah.”

    it isn’t that simple. Also, not true, either.

    “Most of the population (christians and moderate muslims) would love to live in peace with Israel.”

    True, but many of that same population wants a just and fair solution to the Palestinian issue, for Israel to leave occupied Lebanese land, for Israel to strop trying to steal Lebanese water, etc.

  70. Aaron’s comment may win silliest comment on this thread.

    Israel needs Lebanon’s land? Do any Israelis live there or is there any development? No. Perhaps a security barrier against a rogue, fundamentalist army is a better explanation? Just last month a tunnel plan was exposed to infiltrate Israeli cities and hold people hostages.

    Water? Israel is a leading developer and innovator of desalinisation in the world, you think it need to go to war for water?

    Not sure why you are getting on your hind legs for Lebanon for. Their stellar democracy? Their treatment of homosexuals? Allowing hezbollah to operate within its borders? Open your eyes.

  71. Im really surprised you’re not removing these stickers right after boarding. Keeps your passport clean and helps avoiding trouble.
    Heh, caught you with a basic mistake, funny

  72. Are you still in Lebanon? Good luck with leaving the country, they will give extreme hard time.
    Aaron, which part of Lebanon is Israel occupying right now? Can you point me to the one on the map?
    Since I have 5 passports and one of them is Israeli, I always leave or enter Israel on that one, Israel don’t stamp your passports anymore, but keep in mind that on the border crossings to Jordan and Egypt, Jordanians and Egyptians will stamp your passport, and good luck asking them not to stamp it, they usually don’t speak any English. I always use Israeli passport when going across the border, since I don’t want my other passports being contaminated with the stamps, which will prove that I was in Israel.

  73. Fifteen countries that do not recognize the state of Israel also do not admit Israeli passport holders:
    Algeria[16]
    Bangladesh[17]
    Brunei[18]
    Iran[19][20]
    Iraq[21]
    Kuwait[22]
    Lebanon[23]
    Libya[24]
    Malaysia1[25]
    Pakistan[26]
    Saudi Arabia[27][28]
    Sudan[29]
    Syria[30]
    United Arab Emirates2[31]
    Yemen[32][33]

    In addition, eight of these countries — Iran,[34] Kuwait,[35] Lebanon,[36] Libya,[37] Saudi Arabia,[38] Sudan,[39] Syria[40] and Yemen[41] — do not allow entry to people with evidence of travel to Israel, or whose passports have either a used or an unused Israeli visa.

    Saudi Arabia will not allow any Jews into the country, if they know that you’re a Jew. You can pretend that you’re not.

  74. Well, Israel is not a country, and has killed 5.1m palestinians, and you wonder why people question you for going to a genocidal de facto state?

  75. “Perhaps a security barrier against a rogue, fundamentalist army is a better explanation?”

    You do realize that Hizbollah’s entire existence is due to Israel occupying Lebanese land? And unlike the Golan Heights which Israel took from Syrian, Israel doesn’t own a swath of Lebanese land like they used to, but still have a bit that they own.

    “Water? Israel is a leading developer and innovator of desalinisation in the world, you think it need to go to war for water?”

    No, but they’re not against pilfering it from others if they can.

    Believe me, my eyes are open wide enough.

  76. m747 – must be convenient living with whatever belief you conjure up, regardless of the facts. You’re the primo example of someone who should try to not believe what s/he thinks.

  77. I think people don’t really understand the history of Lebanon and perceive that the hatred of Israel or Jews is a Lebanese trait. In actual fact Lebanon had a vibrant and prosperous Jewish community for millennia. Lebanon was a multi-cultural place, with stability preserved by a delicate balance of Christian, Muslim, and minority communities (Jews, Armenians, etc). Lebanon was not in any way infected by Arab Pan-Nationalism, and didn’t even take any material role in the Six Day War in 1967 that saw all its neighbors defeated and losing territory to Israel.

    This stability was destroyed by Palestinians with the arrival of Yasser Arafat in 1970. Arafat waged guerrilla warfare from within Lebanese territory, involving his guest country in a dispute it had previously avoided and reforming the politics of Lebanon into factions both for and against Arafat, destroying the status quo ante and the delicate balance of power.

    Arafat and his troops also started the Lebanese Civil War and stoked hatred between Lebanese Christians and Muslims. Arafat famously said “the road to Jerusalem runs through Jounieh,” which is a famously Christian Marronite town. His troops sieged and then occupied the Christian village of Damour and slaughtered 582 of its occupants. Christians began to flee Lebanon, PLO began moving more people in, and the stability Lebanon had enjoyed for ages was at an end.

    With the Lebanese polity unable to stop Arafat’s guerrilla warfare from Lebanon, the Israelis got fed up and invaded, which gave Arafat the opportunity to seize half of Beirut, and the situation deteriorated from there. So some of the above narratives leave out quite a bit about Lebanon’s history. Of course it is convenient to blame Israel, but Lebanese know that the PLO, Arafat, and “the Butcher of Damour” Zuhayr Muhsin have the most to blame for the country’s disintegration.

  78. Aaron – you think Hizbollah exists because of Israel? Israel’s existence must also explain ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram’s and El Shabaab’s existence as well, of course. Since they do exists as a result of fundamentalist, Islamic ideology right out of the middle ages, then it must be because of the Muslim world’s favorite villain, Israel. Yikes….arguments are easy when you throw history and facts right out the window.

  79. It should be illegal for these countries to deny entry to anyone with relations to Israel. It’s racist and anti-semitic. They should grow up and part ways with Hezbollah terrorists and make peace with their neighbour who is thriving in technology, economy, tourism, etc.

    Also Ben, I would remove those stickers lol.

  80. anantat, israel has killed 5.1 million palestinians, see defence(dot)pk(slash)/pdf(slash)threads(slash)palestinian-genocide-5-100-000-palestinians-have-been-killed-since-1948.416222

  81. m747 – wow, you found a website from Pakistan to support your position, then it must be true. As the saying goes, you’re entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. Ping me the next time an Arab country has a Jewish person on their supreme court, start your search there.

  82. religion, no matter which it is, gets people killed. all religions are man made to keep people brainwashed.

  83. Aaron,

    Can you please point me on the map which lebanese territory belongs to Israel?
    Oh, maybe I know, it’s the whole Israel. Is it what you mean?

  84. @m747, please let put things into perspective here! Your sources are questionable at best.

    Successive Israeli governments might be guilty of war crimes but the 5.5 million Palestinians killed is a stretch to say the least. Total deaths from the Arab-Israeli conflicts since the 1920s couldn’t surpass 150K killed on both sides (military & civilians) and a million plus refugees. Although one life is precious enough, compare this to the holocaust were 12 million civilian Jews, intellectuals, gypsies, homosexuals, disabled persons, etc. were slaughtered in concentration camps by the Nazis.

    So, although the situation is miserable and tragic, and the holocaust doesn’t give Israelis a license to kill, there is hopefully a light at the end of the tunnel.

  85. i’m sorry, i was wrong. i had found another website a while back which had the same figure but couldn’t find it. i did some routing, and some sites say up to 300,000. i am sorry for being wrong and upsetting people.

  86. I worked for a while in Israel and at the time you got a second passport if you were going to Muslim countries so as to not stir up trouble. (Worked for DoD). Was it just me or did they “wand” every single item in your luggage? When ever I left Israel they did that and if any gunpowder showed up they lost their collective $h!t. I had told them I was military so I thought they would figure it out but nope wanding my boxers for 2 hours…..

  87. What you described is basically every foreigner’s experience when entering the US – waiting for hours in line and then answering tedious questions from an officer that looks like they were told moments before that their salary has been halved. Then the questions that lead to “please wait a minute” followed by occasionally being escorted to a room.

  88. I had Israeli security stickers after 2 trips. Like most people ,I removed them and threw them away . Why do people leave them on the passport ?

  89. “So some of the above narratives leave out quite a bit about Lebanon’s history”

    Indeed. Prior to 1975, Lebanon did have a stability, but a fragile one, and to blame all of Lebanon’s problems on the arrival of the PLO is a very simplistic attempt to re-write history. 1975 to 1990 wasn’t the first civil war Lebanon had…

    “you think Hizbollah exists because of Israel?”

    Well, considering that Hizbollah was created in the mid-1980s as a reaction to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982…yes. Had Israel never invaded Lebanon, one could arguably say Hizbollah may have never existed. I supposed arguments are easy when you keep re-hashing whatever the Israeli Propaganda Machine tells you to keep feeding people…

  90. Aaron – Israel invaded Lebanon for what purpose in 1982? That always seems to be conveniently ignored. Well the truth was to attempt to stop aggression from PLO forces, which as a people have rejected compromise and negotiation from day 1. 5+ big wars lost, now cry foul. Even children know better. That’s just the facts.

    Now you defend Hizbollah since it evolved as you say as a reaction to Israel, a terrorist organisation involved in over a dozen terrorist acts outside of Israel, including targeting and killing Americans and others unrelated to southern Lebanon’s border. It’s a shameful, non-sensical position.

    Oh, and remember we are dealing with a dinosaur immigration system rejecting entrance to a country based on prior travel, not based on security concerns, suspicious behaviour, or the like – just a sticker or a stamp. Simple, sandbox, juvenile, silly policy. That’s really a position one wants to defend?

  91. Yes, and they stayed for how long after? Even after the PLO left? Hizbollah would not have existed without Israel.

    I’m not defending Hizbollah, I am just stating facts, nothing more.

    It isn’t a dinosaur immigration system, the 2 countries are still technically at war. Again, it is a simple fact. I mean, I suppose it’s no different than banning someone for posting something on the internet, which Israel has done, so potaytoe, pohtahtoe?

  92. Anantat,
    Aaron is just another antisemite, just ignore him alltogether. He can’t even answer what part of Lebanon Israel currently occupies, because there is no such part. His posts are just plain BS.

  93. Aaron – so to your point, I would assume since Israel is not there anymore than Hizbollah should cease to exist. But reality dictates otherwise – fundamentalist, fanatical, murderous thugs running circles around Lebanon keeping it from entering the civilised world and terrorising those that already got there.

  94. Aaron – And what does two countries at war have anything to do with not letting in a tourist with a visa stamp or sticker from that country other than to act like a child? Surely even you would agree Lucky isn’t an Israeli operative. As if Israeli operatives would fly into Beirut airport, just silly.

    Instead of using their brains, developing technology, intelligence gathering etc… just ban someone who has visited Israel? Geniuses over there.

  95. Yeah I’ve been through Beirut many times. I am an Arab US citizen. They do worse to me when I enter Tel Aviv airport and the discrimination is high where I spend like 4 hours in a questioning room. So if Lebanon was just suspecting something..that’s not a big deal they are doing their job.

  96. Yomk,
    Well, at least they let you in. Of course, because you’re from the enemy country make them be more cautious, even if you visited enemy country before that, that makes them even more paranoid, even if you have US citizenship. Actually US passport doesn’t make any difference to them, you could have done it with Arab country passport, they would let you in most likely. But on the other hand they deny entry to Israelis. I remember I was trying to fly LHR-DXB-MLE on EK, so I called the office of EK and asked them if I can transit via DXB with israeli passport – they said no, you can’t enter UAE. I say – I’m not going to enter UAE, just transit, they still said – no you can’t board EK plane with Israeli passport.

  97. @Yuri

    Ah, yes, the tactic of the Israeli Propaganda Machine, label anyone who is critical of Israel as being an anti-Semite…too bad that doesn’t work these days as it did in the past.

    @Anantat

    If you think Hizbullah is what is holding Lebanon from entering the civilized world, then clearly your knowledge of Lebanon is very, very limited indeed. Then again, I suppose one person’s Hizbullah is another person’s Haganah or Irgun…

    As for the sticker, it’s called boycotting a country you are at war with? I know, some Israelis get triggered by the word boycott these days, and the Lebanese do seem to be very selective with what they choose to boycott with regards to Israel, but that is part of their policy.

    “Instead of using their brains, developing technology, intelligence gathering etc… just ban someone who has visited Israel?”

    I’m not sure what one has to do with the other, like, they couldn’t do both if the chose to? It’s a one or the other choice? I mean, the Lebanese effing up their own country has nothing to do with their ban on Israel.

  98. Aaron,
    You’re not critical of Israel, you are just plain dumbass antisemite!
    You still didn’t answer which part of Lebanon Israel is occupying? Is it the whole Israel itself?

  99. What did I say that was anti-Semitic? Please elaborate, since you really seem to be taking this “criticism of Israel bs = anti-Semitic” a bit too over the top. I mean, I know those are your instructions, but please provide examples.

  100. I am confused, I am very familiar with the Israeli sticker and the photo with stickers that you posted does not have the Israeli sticker.

  101. @Yuri

    Please start making sense. And also, please point out any examples of antisemitism from my end.

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