Travel Warning

Israelis, Jews in terrorists’ sights at Eurovision and Olympics, Israeli official warns

Ahead of Passover travel season, Israel's National Security Council suggests tourists hide signs of being Israeli or Jewish while on vacation abroad

Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua via Getty Images

People wait at the departure hall at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, Nov. 28, 2021.

Israelis and Jews attending the Eurovision competition and the Summer Olympics are in terrorists’ “crosshairs,” a diplomatic source who deals with foreign terrorism threats warned on Thursday.

The Eurovision Song Contest is set to take place in Malmö, Sweden, on May 7-11, and the Summer Games in Paris will kick off on July 26. The diplomatic source also highlighted the European Football Championship, known as the Euro games, set to take place in Germany in June. He briefed reporters in conjunction with a National Security Council travel warning issued to Israelis going abroad for Passover, which begins on the evening of April 22.

“Malmö is a city with many hostile areas,” the source said. “Whoever goes there should not display their Zionism. Don’t walk around with Israeli flags. That could cause problems — like street fights.” 

At the same time, the source said he did not know of any specific terrorist threats against Israelis in Sweden.

With tens of thousands of Israelis expected to attend the Euro games and the Olympics, the source said “the major concern is about global jihadist factors who have Israelis and Jews in their crosshairs.”

More broadly, the Israeli official said, Israelis traveling abroad should try not to stand out.

”You can speak Hebrew to each other, but don’t shout to family members or friends on the other side of the street,” he said. 

Dozens of terrorist attacks against Jews and Israelis have been thwarted since the start of the war in Gaza in October, the source said. 

“At any given moment there are efforts around the world to attack Israelis and Jews. Along with local law enforcement, the Israeli defense establishment takes endless preventative actions…The parts made public are the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

The National Security Council warned in a statement released on Thursday of “the increase in motivation of terrorist factors around the world to execute terrorist attacks.”

Iran is still a central sponsor of terrorism and has increased its efforts in recent years to strike Israelis and Jews around the world, the statement reads, highlighting arrests in Cyprus, Turkey and Georgia of Iranian terrorists planning such attacks. Those attempts have grown more frequent since the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

The National Security Council stated that Iran will continue to try to abduct and assault Israelis by pretending to do business with them and through other forms of subterfuge.

The statement emphasized a high threat level to Israelis in Turkey, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan.

”The public is asked to seriously consider its travel destinations and the necessity of visiting countries with a high threat level, and to take precautions,” the statement reads.

Among those precautions are to avoid crowded places like malls and markets and large events, as well as places that are identifiably Jewish or Israeli. Travelers are urged to be alert in public places and not to publicly display symbols of being Israeli. In addition, they should avoid publishing their destination on social media, the National Security Council stated.

Finally, Israelis were urged to choose flights that do not fly over enemy states, such as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and Yemen.

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