Photo Credit: Dennis Sylvester Hurd
Istanbul Airport, November 17, 2021.

Israel’s National Security Council (NSC) late Tuesday night announced that in the wake of Operation Iron Swords, there is a significant worsening of terrorist threats against Jews and Israelis around the world, and urged the public to be aware of the following urgent recommendations:

The travel warning to Turkey has been raised to the highest level – level 4 – for all areas of the country. All Israelis in Turkey are urged to leave immediately.


The NSC recommended that Israelis who have not left Turkey take extreme measures and avoid, as much as possible, gatherings and public places, the overt display of Israeli and Jewish indicators, and places identified as Jewish or have an Israeli connection.

The NSC has raised the travel warning for Morocco to level 2 – which is a recommendation to exercise greater caution.

The NSC reiterated its recommendation to the public to reconsider planned trips overseas and avoid non-essential travel to countries with travel warnings, with emphasis on Arab countries and countries bordering Iran, especially Jordan, Egypt, the UAE, and Azerbaijan.

There is concern about increased motivation by terrorists and lone assailants to perpetrate attacks against Israelis in various countries, such as the attack against an Israeli Embassy employee in Beijing on October 13. The NSC underscored that during the war, there is a potential for threats even in countries without travel warnings and calls for exercising greater caution and being on higher alert.

It should be noted that travel warnings do not apply to travelers in a given country for purposes of boarding connecting flights, except for the ban on flying over enemy countries (Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen) and countries with a high threat level (Libya, Algeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia). While planning an overseas trip, it is recommended to verify that one’s flight does not go over these countries.

Finally: Israelis are likely to find it increasingly difficult to return to Israel since many airlines have reduced the number of their flights in and out of Ben Gurion International. The NSC didn’t say what Israelis who can’t get a flight home should do, but if I were out there, away from home, I’d stay in the airport, eat Cinnabons, and avoid talking until one of my standby flights comes through.

You can tell someone is Israeli even when they don’t speak Hebrew.

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