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Cruise Line Drops Tunisia Over Anti-Israel Bias

Israelis on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship not allowed to disembark in Tunisia

Hannah Dreyfus
March 13, 2014
The Norwegian Getaway, a member of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet. (David Hecker/Getty Images)
The Norwegian Getaway, a member of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet. (David Hecker/Getty Images)

Norwegian Cruise Line has pulled Tunisia from its list of travel destinations following an incident in which Israeli citizens were kept from entering the country. Upon the cruise liner’s recent arrival at the Port of Tunis, 20 Israeli passengers were not allowed off the boat, JTA reported. While the rest of the passengers disembarked, the Israeli citizens were told to remain onboard the Norwegian Jade because the Tunisian government didn’t want them in the country.

“We want to send a strong message to Tunisia and ports around the world that we will not tolerate such random acts of discrimination against our guests,” Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO, said in a statement. Sheehan maintained that the company had no prior knowledge of the Tunisian government’s policy.

The Anti-Defamation League praised the Norwegian Cruise Line for their quick and resolute response. ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said, “They have sent a clear message to Tunisia and other governments that discriminatory practices against Israelis and other nationals will have a negative impact on tourism.”

Tunisia had been a major attraction for the Norwegian Jade, with the cruise liner stopping there once every three weeks.

Hannah Dreyfus is an editorial intern at Tablet.

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