Israel issues severe travel warnings to dozens of countries amid rising antisemitism

National Security Council urges citizens to reconsider nonessential travel, upgrading threat warnings in UK, Germany, France, Australia, among other countries

An antisemitic sign at a pro-Palestinian protest of NYU students and others in Manhattan's Washington Square Park on October 25, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
An antisemitic sign at a pro-Palestinian protest of NYU students and others in Manhattan's Washington Square Park on October 25, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

The National Security Council on Monday updated travel warnings for dozens of countries, amid rising antisemitism around the world as Israel fights the Hamas terror group in Gaza.

Several countries in Western Europe, including the United Kingdom, France and Germany; in South America, including Argentina and Brazil; along with Australia and Russia were raised to Level 2, which recommends that Israelis take additional precautions while there.

A number of countries in Africa, including South Africa and Eritrea, and in central Asia, including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, were raised to Level 3, which recommends postponing nonessential travel.

The National Security Council also reiterated its recommendation that Israelis reconsider all travel abroad and called on those who do need to travel overseas to avoid outward displays of their Jewish and Israeli identities.

“Since the beginning of the war there have been increased efforts identified from Iran and its affiliates, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to target Israelis and Jews around the world,” the National Security Council said in a statement. “On this basis, along with the rising levels of incitement, attempted attacks and antisemitism around the world, the National Security Council has reiterated its recommendation for Israelis to reconsider any nonessential travel at this time,”

Israel has been fighting the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip since October 7, when 3,000 terrorists burst across the border by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing over 240 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities.

In response, Israel has vowed to eliminate Hamas, launching a campaign that has left vast swaths of the Strip in ruins and thousands of civilians dead according to unverified Palestinian claims. The toll has drawn international criticism and pressure on Israel, including from the US, along with a rise in antisemitic incidents around the world.

A color-coded map released Monday with the National Security Council statement showed alert levels for each country, from Level 1 (no threat) to Level 4 (high threat). The fifth level, an orange-red shade, indicates mixed threat level in different areas of the country.

The National Security Council map of global threat level for Israelis traveling abroad, December 4, 2023

The council recommended that Israelis postpone travel to countries with alerts in place, especially Arab and Middle Eastern countries, the north Caucasus region of Russia, Iran, and Muslim countries in Asia.

The statement also recommended that Israelis abroad avoid attending protests and rallies, and stay alert at all times.

The full list of alerts can be found on the National Security Council’s website.

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