Tunisia blocks visit by Israelis on cruise

Israeli tourists traveling on a Norwegian cruise ship were prevented from disembarking at a stop at the Port of Tunis.

The Israeli passengers were told quietly by staff aboard the Norwegian Jade that they were not welcome by the Tunisian government during the stop, B’nai B’rith Canada said in a statement March 9. The organization had been contacted by a Jewish Canadian passenger on the ship, which is part of the Norwegian Cruise Line.

There were about 20 Israelis aboard the ship, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. They did not know in advance that they would be required to remain on the ship during the daylong stop.

Jewish passengers who were not Israeli were permitted to disembark in Tunis.

According to a Norwegian Cruise Line statement issued March 11, the company was not informed of the Tunisian policy in advance. The statement said Norwegian Cruise Line “…will not tolerate such random acts of discrimination against our guests,” and indicated the company “has canceled all remaining calls to Tunisia and will not return.” — jta