Iran vs Israel

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Jul 3, 2019 23:43
Today I read the news that Israel has recently stopped its visa service to Chinese nationals, except for the student-visa holders who would apply to extend their stay. I was pretty shocked by this. Normally, nations only cease granting visas to each other when diplomatic relations break off. I know that Israel is a staunch ally of the US, and that Sino-US relations have been going through a rough patch lately, but isn't it going rather far for Israel to cut itself off from China?

Then I read another article that made things a lot easier to understand. Iran just announced that it has waived visas for Chinese tourists, supposedly in order to boost its economy. This move, in fact, was just one-sided, because China didn’t scrap the visa requirement for Iranians.

I’ve always wanted to travel to Israel to explore the Jewish culture and visit Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, so I know a thing or two about how Chinese nationals apply for Israeli visas. It’s worth noting that before going to Israel, they should not visit its Middle East nemeses such as Iran, because this will lead to the denial of an application.

Israeli embassies obviously don’t have access to these nations' entry data, so they examine visa stickers and stamps on the applicants’ passports to learn about their travel history. Since Iran is now visa-free for Chinese tourists, who don’t need the stickers anymore or even can avoid getting their passports stamped, it’s no wonder that Israel has stopped issuing visas to us. ☹ Israel is still on my bucket list, and I hope this act is only temporary and it will find a better way to work out the problem.