U.S. tourists to Israel advised to dress modestly

February 23, 2012


The U.S. State Department is advising visitors to Jerusalem to dress modestly when visiting certain neighborhoods, or to avoid the areas entirely, in hopes of not provoking local sensitivities.

The State Department guidance did not specify which neighborhoods are considered problematic, or what, exactly, constitutes “modest” attire.

The Jerusalem advisory, updated on Jan. 10, says travelers “should exercise caution at religious sites on holy days, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays” and “dress appropriately” when visiting ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods and the Old City of Jerusalem, where religious Jews, Muslims and Christians live in distinct quarters. 

The warning notes that most roads into ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods are blocked off on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Jewish holidays, and that “assaults on secular visitors, either for being in cars or for being 'immodestly dressed' have occurred in these neighborhoods.”

The advisory was added to the State Department’s website for travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. It comes in the wake of many recent incidents in which ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremists physically or verbally attacked women they said were dressed immodestly.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women cover up everything except their faces, necks and hands.

In Beit Shemesh, a city between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, extremists have attacked religious schoolgirls on their way to school, deeming them not religious enough.   

For years, ultra-Orthodox Jews have also stoned cars driving in or near their neighborhoods on the Sabbath or holidays.

  1. Shame on your church's website. It doesn't surprise me that you have posted this article. Your church's views are so slanted and anti- Semitic that you seem to be thrilled to post something like this bogus editorial. Are you jumping for joy, hoping no one visits the only democracy in the Middle East? How much stock have you divested? Are you sending donations directly to Hamas? In searching on Google, I could not find some of the things that you write. Obviously your article is an editorial, and should be indicated as such. Here is what the U.S. Government actually posts: Jerusalem The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to remain vigilant while traveling throughout Jerusalem, including in commercial and downtown areas of West Jerusalem. Spontaneous or planned protests within the Old City are possible, especially after Friday prayers. Some of these protests have led to violent clashes. Travelers should exercise caution at religious sites on holy days, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Isolated street protests and demonstrations can also occur in areas of East Jerusalem, including around Salah Ed-Din Street, Damascus Gate, Silwan and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. U.S. Government employees are authorized to visit the Old City from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., but not between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Fridays. The area of the ramparts on the city wall between Herod’s Gate and Lion’s Gate is off-limits to U.S. Government personnel at all times. The Sherover or Haas Promenade (scenic overlook) located in Armon Hanatziv is open to U.S. Government personnel during daylight hours only. Official personnel and their family members are prohibited from using public buses and bus terminals or stations.

    by steven bell

    February 23, 2012

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