Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New State Department Travel Warning

The State Department has issued a new Travel Warning today for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, among other things warning of the possibility of terrorist bombings. I have to say that I continue to wonder why there are Travel Warnings issued on Israel (which among other things, can make it very difficult for colleges to permit students to travel there to study), while not at the same time having travel warnings on, for example, Turkey, where there have just been 5 terrorist bombings that have killed several tourists.

The State Department Consular Information Sheet on Turkey goes into considerable detail about various terrorist bombings that have been carried out there in recent years, including the Al-Qaeda bombings in November 2003, when the British Consulate, the HSBC bank, and two synagogues were struck by suicide truck bombs.

Yet the State Department does not warn American citizens against travel to Turkey by issuing a Travel Warning.

1 comment:

  1. I'm no expert on State's Travel Warnings, but this reads pretty clearly to me as an update on the fact that travel to Northern Israel is now safer, but Gaza is more dangerous (after the kidnapping of the Fox News journalists), both of which are significant differences since the previous Warning. "This warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued July 19, 2006."

    Presumably this isn't info State should suppress. And the text seems entirely clear, so I won't quote the rest of it.

    And, with all respect to your profession, it's not State's business to ease the travel of college students. It's to protect American lives. I think there's no question that travel of Americans to Gaza and the West Bank is far more dangerous than to Turkey; that's sufficient, as is updating the situation in Northern Israel.

    I don't know the stats, but I wouldn't be in the least surprised if more people have been injured by bombs in Israel proper, as well, in the last three years, than in Turkey. I'm inclined to suspect so, but not inclined to do a comparative count. Do you have any pointers that indicate the opposite is true?

    But even if you don't, I can't see that State shouldn't warn people away from Gaza, and update them that it's now safer in Northern Israel.