Flickr Photo Credit: LaNicoya
Unfortunately, certain political issues make it extremely difficult to enter particular Middle East countries with either an Israeli stamp in your passport, or an exit stamp from any location known to be a cross-over point into Israel from a neighboring country. The situation is further complicated by the fact that nations taking exception to travel in Israel are reportedly also concerned with telltale “gaps” in the time-line of your Middle East travel itinerary.
Those of you who live, work and travel extensively in the region are already familiar with this issue. For those of you planning to travel to Israel for the first time, we offer the following advice:
The most accommodating border country (in our opinion) is Jordan. They also have multiple crossing points, and do not mind refraining from stamping your passport. They also issue tourist visas for a month, which is more than enough time to fly into Amman, get an entry stamp, tour both Israel and Jordan with reasonable thoroughness and be back to exit Jordan from a neutral point before your original visa expires.
Israeli customs officials are aware of this regional issue, and will stamp separate pieces of paper to keep in your passport, if you remember to ask. Jordanian officials at the border crossings are willing to do the same, but is entirely up to you to make sure this happens.
There are numerous travel combinations to make this go smoothly. Feel free to post any creative ways you have accomplished this same feat.