Norwegian Cruise Line cancels Tunisia stops after country bars Israeli tourists

By JNS, JNS.org

(JNS.org) The Norwegian Cruise Line announced Tuesday that it is canceling all of its remaining port calls to Tunisia and ceasing all future port calls there in response to the Tunisian government’s refusal to allow a group of Israelis to disembark the Norwegian Jade ship in the Tunis-based port of La Goulette on Sunday.

About a dozen Israelis were denied entry and singled out among hundreds of tourists. “[Cruise staff] were very elusive,” said Ed Glina, a Canadian tourist on the ship who witnessed the incident and stayed on board in solidarity with the Israelis.

“They said they got an email from the immigration department in Tunisia stating Israelis were not allowed to get off the ship. They were not given any reason why Israelis were not allowed off the ship—they indicated that in previous months when they had been to Tunisia, Israelis were allowed to get off—and that they didn’t know why this was happening,” Glina said, the Canadian National Post newspaper reported.

In a press statement released Tuesday and provided to JNS.org, the Norwegian Cruise Line expressed outrage over the incident.

“We want to send a strong message to Tunisia and ports around the world that we will not tolerate such random acts of discrimination against our guests,” said Kevin Sheehan,  Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO. “We are outraged by this act and the fact that we were not notified in advance of this practice. We apologize sincerely to our guests who were affected and want them to know that we have taken the appropriate action in response.”

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