Photo: Meir Fartush
Herzliya's Daniel hotel
Photo: Meir Fartush

Local nightlife 'too risky' for U.S. envoys

American diplomats ordered to avoid Israeli clubs, bars for fear of violence; diplomat: Luckily I'm here with my family, or else I’d suffer

Security instructions issued by the American embassy in Tel Aviv forbid diplomatic staff from going out to local bars and clubs, for fear of getting involved in a violent incident related to local mob disputes.


Addressing the ban, an American diplomat told Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth he is lucky to be in Israel with his family.


"If I was single, I would suffer, because we're not allowed to visit your clubs and bars," he said, lamenting the ban on enjoying Israel's lively nightlife scene.


The latest instructions come on top of a warning issued by the State Department approximately two weeks ago, advising American nationals about danger to their safety as a result of organized crime activity in the country.


Israeli officials attempted to convince the Americans to remove the particular "mob clause" from the warning, but Yedioth Ahronoth found that the advisory was based on reports received by the State Department in the wake of two violent incidents.


One such fracas was the recent brawl at Herzliya's Daniel hotel, which involved reputed underworld figures drawing knives in the presence of stunned hotel guests. The U.S. embassy often uses the hotel, and at least one American diplomat witnessed the fight.


In another case, a U.S. diplomat witnessed a violent brawl at a Tel Aviv bar.


Meanwhile, contacts between Israel and the U.S. continue in an effort to change the wording of the warning, so that it does not imply Israel is a global organized crime hotbed.


פרסום ראשון: 03.19.06, 16:31
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