A Defiant Stand: Maldives Bans Israelis in Solidarity with Besieged Gaza

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu
Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu speaks during a plenary session at the COP28 U.N. Climate Summit, Dec. 1, 2023, in Dubai

Maldives bans Israeli passport holders over war in Gaza

The Indian Ocean archipelago’s ban comes in solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza facing unrelenting attacks and mass hunger.

In a bold and defiant move, the idyllic Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives has taken a stand against the unrelenting violence and devastation unfolding in Gaza. Amidst mounting public anger over the plight of the besieged Palestinian people, the Maldivian government has announced a ban on Israeli passport holders, effectively closing its doors to tourists from the embattled nation.

As Palestinian civilians continue cowering under the relentless hail of Israeli ordnance, the true depths of this asymmetric slaughter become increasingly undeniable with each passing day. Over 36,000 dead according to Gaza’s health ministry, countless more wounded and displaced in what can only be described as a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing.

This decision, born out of solidarity with the suffering masses of Gaza, represents a resounding condemnation of the unabated attacks and the mass hunger that has been imposed on the region.

The Cabinet’s resolution to amend existing laws and prevent the entry of Israeli nationals is a powerful statement of moral conviction, echoing the sentiments of the predominantly Muslim nation.

President Mohamed Muizzu, taking swift and decisive action, has not only imposed the travel ban but has also announced plans to appoint a special envoy tasked with assessing the dire humanitarian needs in Gaza. Furthermore, a national fundraising campaign, aptly named “Maldivians in Solidarity with Palestine,” has been launched, underscoring the depth of the nation’s commitment to alleviating the suffering of the Palestinian people.

Maldivians bans Israelis in Solidarity with Palestine

The Maldivian government’s bold stance has drawn a sharp rebuke from Israel’s Foreign Ministry, which has urged its citizens to avoid travel to the archipelago and advised those currently vacationing there to consider departing. This response, however, fails to acknowledge the gravity of the situation in Gaza and the moral imperative that drove the Maldives to take such a principled stand.

While the economic implications of this ban cannot be ignored – nearly 11,000 Israelis visited the Maldives last year, accounting for a significant portion of the nation’s vital tourism industry – the government’s decision underscores the depth of its commitment to upholding human rights and standing in solidarity with the oppressed.

The Maldives, a nation known for its breathtaking beauty and luxury resorts, has now become a beacon of hope and defiance in the face of injustice. By taking this principled stance, the archipelago has sent a resounding message to the world: that the suffering of the Palestinian people cannot be ignored, and that the pursuit of justice and human dignity must take precedence over economic considerations.

As the conflict in Gaza rages on, with the death toll mounting and the humanitarian crisis deepening, the Maldives’ decision to ban Israeli passport holders serves as a poignant reminder that even in the most idyllic of settings, the call for justice and solidarity cannot be silenced. It is a testament to the power of moral conviction and the unwavering belief that, in the face of oppression, inaction is not an option.

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