AQABA, Jordan — The southern border crossing between Israel and Jordan is named after Yitzhak Rabin, the late Israeli prime minister who signed the historic peace treaties between these two countries some 20 years ago. A short, five-minute taxi drive from Eilat’s small airport and you’re there. Outside, the desert is gearing up for another searing summer of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).
To make the crossing on foot between the Israel and Jordanian sides, tourists pull out small metal luggage carts ornamented with Israeli and Jordanian flags that were manufactured specifically for the border crossing between these two countries. Once you pay the $25 exit fee from Israel, you are able to go through the crossing. On the Israeli side, passport control is quick, efficient and coolish. On the Jordanian side, the process is slow, sweaty but especially friendly. A big photo of the royal family awaits visitors at the entry point to Jordan. The late King Hussein with his son Abdullah II, the incumbent king, next to him, and on the right 18-year-old Hussein bin Abdullah, the crown prince. They are all sporting smiles. Welcome to Jordan.