Ditch Maldives, head for Indian beaches, Israel tells citizens after entry ban

The Embassy of Israel has taken a unique approach after the Maldives banned Israeli passport holders from entering the country, promoting tourism in India as an alternative.
Ditch Maldives, head for Indian beaches, Israel tells citizens after entry ban
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The Maldives, famous for its idyllic beaches, just banned Israelis from visiting in response to the conflict in Gaza. In response, Israel advised its citizens to avoid travelling to the island nation and recommended that those already in the country consider leaving.

In the midst of these tensions, the Israeli Embassy's X page is blowing up with gorgeous photographs of Indian beaches, from Goa to Kerala. They're urging their citizens to ditch the Maldives and head to beach destinations in India instead.

"Since the Maldives is no longer welcoming Israelis, here are some beautiful and amazing Indian beaches where Israeli tourists are warmly welcomed and treated with utmost hospitality," the Embassy of Israel tweeted on Monday.

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Ditch Maldives, head for Indian beaches, Israel tells citizens after entry ban

In what may or may not have been a deliberate bid to rub it in, the Israeli Embassy also posted a photo of a beach in Lakshadweep. The archipelago in the Arabian Sea is something of a sore spot for Maldivians, as exhibited by the ministers who made derogatory remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he posted photos of himself snorkelling in Lakshadweep and enjoying its beaches.

These remarks were seen as racist and caused a big furore in India, including calls to boycott the Maldives as a tourist destination.

The Maldives relies heavily on tourism, so this Israeli ban could sting. It's not all smooth sailing for them right now after Indian tourists dropped to a record low. Moreover, official data shows the number of Israelis visiting the Maldives this year is down 88 per cent compared to last year.

The decision to ban Israeli passport holders from entering the country appears to have been triggered by public anger over the ongoing conflict in Gaza and growing pressure from opposition parties.

President Mohamed Muizzu has established a subcommittee to oversee the implementation of the ban. Additionally, a national fundraising campaign called "Maldivians in Solidarity with Palestine" has been launched to support the Palestinian people.

Source: India Today

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