To the Editor:
In your story about the withholding of visas of Israeli cardiologists willing to attend the World Conference of Cardiology in Dubai, you also wrote that “Those (Israelis) who actually did attend did not have an easy time. They weren’t allowed to leave the hotel, and their visas were held during their visit. Apparently, the government of Dubai did not want Israelis there."
I was one of the three Israelis who visited Dubai for the Conference, and the statement concerning the way we were treated in Dubai is simply wrong, completely inaccurate. We not only were allowed to leave the hotel but were actually given VIP tours of Dubai city. I have photographs at the top of the Burj Khalifa showing the three of us with our friendly Dubai escort. From the minute we landed in Dubai to the minute we left, we were escorted and protected by Dubai escorts and guards in the friendliest manner.
I cannot comment about the number of Israelis who were denied visas to Dubai because I do not know the facts. However, I believe it is important to clarify the fact that those of us who were lucky to enter Dubai have only good words about the way we were treated there. The escort and policemen assigned to cover our security needs were not merely courteous or polite, they were forthcoming and openly friendly.
Dr. Sami Viskin
Director, Cardiac Hospitalization Unit
Tel Aviv Medical Center