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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Israel To Russia: Visa's Not Required?

(Image: US Visa Image, Credit: US Embassy Israel)

The government of Israel has recently passed a measure that will allow Russian citizens to visit the holy land without the need (or hassle) of applying for a visa.

(Ha'aretz) The cabinet voted yesterday to cancel the visa requirement for tourists arriving in Israel from Russia. Only ministers from Shas voted against Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch's proposal.

The move will only take effect if the Russians reciprocate by canceling the visa requirement for Israelis, a subject the Foreign Ministry is now handling.

Removing the visa requirement could help open the eyes of Russian citizens of what life is really like in Israel. To my knowledge, a large number of Russian Jews have actually left the former USSR (due to persecution) and made Aliyah towards the holy land.

If Russia responds in kind, this could help their country benefit from the expertise of many Israeli scientists, especially when it comes to nuclear waste.

Update (9/24): It looks like Russia is all for it.

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