The Saudi tourist site saying that Jewish people were ineligible to apply for visas was up as late as last night; I sent it to a friend at 7:44 PM yesterday. But now image-conscious Saudis have taken it down. Does that mean their policy has changed? That question is as yet unanswered. From AP:
Rep. Anthony Weiner, a frequent critic of United States policy toward Saudi Arabia, said Thursday that the Middle East country’s new visa policy outlined on a tourist Web site should be quickly condemned by American officials.
The Web site, promoting a new Saudi program to offer tourist visas to encourage more foreign visitors, lists four groups not entitled to tourist visas, including “Jewish People.”
The Saudi government has traditionally only issued travel visas for employment, Hajj pilgrimages, and other visits with official sanction.
In addition to Jews, the Web site by the Supreme Commission for Tourism also says it will refuse visas to anyone with an Israeli passport or a passport that has an Israeli stamp.
“It is very difficult to see the Saudis as anything other than a backward country with backward ideals and this reaffirms that,” said Weiner. “I think the administration should take a hard look at this Web site and decide whether a country that has these policies should be considered our ally.”
Weiner said the U.S. should close its doors to Saudis until they “clarify” their immigration policy.