Kerry’s Dept. of State is Severely Restricting Entry Visas for Israelis

US embassy announces Tourist visa process for Israelis cancelled until further notice.

Is it a matter of security, or punishment for not accepting US demand to stop Operation Protective Edge?

By Tova Dvorin

 

The US embassy in Tel Aviv has cancelled tourist visa applications for Israelis, according to a statement on its official website, in a move it claims is a matter of staffing and security.

US Entry Visa

US Entry Visa

“Due to the current security situation in Tel Aviv, U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv remains open but is operating at reduced staffing until further notice, and has canceled routine visa application processing and American Citizen services,” the statement says. “Emergencies involving an American citizen and visa applications will be considered on a case by case basis.”

The statement surfaces in the midst of both souring US-Israel relations and an already-pressured visa crisis, which has seen the visa process for Israelis grow more and more difficult over the past year.

In April, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced an internal review into claims that hundreds of young Israelis were being barred from entering the US for political reasons.

An initial investigation found that the rejection rate of visa applications for young Israelis ages 21-26 had doubled, from 16% in 2009 to 32% in 2014; Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro stated that the visa crisis is close to coming to an end several days later.

“The department will take immediate steps to increase the number of young Israelis that can travel to the US according to our immigration laws,” Shapiro wrote, in a Facebook post.

“The law dictates that applicants must prove that they intend to return to Israel in making the request, and that the visa does not allow recipients to stay beyond the designated time period or to work legally in the US,” he said. “But we are aware of the fact that although two-thirds of young applicants receive visas, some people harbor a misconception that young Israelis are not welcome in the USA.”

“Surely that’s not true,” he continued. “Israel is one of the US’s closest allies, and we welcome all networking between Israelis and Americans, including visits to the United States.”

Israeli officials have yet to respond to the letter, which responds to earlier claims that political motivations were at stake in the visa rejections.

Earlier this year, Israeli security officials also claimed they were being targeted by the US, and that hundreds of defense officials were turned away from making important visits to Washington.

Major Israeli politicians claimed in May that the US had been “humiliating” them during the visa application process for years, according to a report in Yediot Aharonot, and had been forced to endure long wait times for acceptance and allowed only brief visits to their alleged ally.

 

View original Arutz Sheva publication at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/183533#.U9llo7GLUYA

5 comments

  1. Heather says:

    I can not believe what I have just read. Words can not express how angry I am over this outrageous, self serving, possessed, over reaching, arrogant, evil lying impostor thats sits the the position of the Presidency of the United States of America!!! Israel needs to know that most of the American people, besides all his immoral corrupt thugs that he placed in the government,despise Barrack Hussein Obama with all that is in us! We love Israel and we are very upset in how he has treated Israel. We don’t know what to do to get this creeping snake out! We know what he is doing. We know he obviously and deliberately is destroying America.Israel HAS to do what she has to do to defend her country from these animals seeking to destroy her. You have our full support. Obama the imposter is against you Israel. DO NOT TRUST HIM IN ANYTHING. He says one thing, but it’s always the opposite. He’s double minded and double speaking. I am outraged that he has done this. He’s keeping Israelis from entering our country while approving millions of illegal aliens and terrorist to enter our country. Forgive me for my angry words, but I take comfort in knowing one day, he WILL have to stand before God. And God will not take lightly how he has treated Israel!

  2. Clea Belcher says:

    Another example of the petty, petulant, retaliatory nature of the Obama administration, which cannot bring itself to rid itself of racial discrimination. And it is discrimination against a race of people. One would think a “black” man has been purged of that nature of conduct. My conclusion is the obvious, based on visa trends.
    Now let’s hear some more excuses, dismissals and retaliatory remarks from the most open and transparent administration in US history.

  3. Clea Belcher says:

    It does hurt to see an administration use its elected privilege, not to serve all the citizens and friends with kindness and justice, but to couch its nefarious practices in CYA and plausible deniability. We get the message and we are very disappointed.

  4. Irwin Blank says:

    This is an example of the pettiness and small minded ignorance of the Obama administration and its obvious contempt for Israel. Thousands of probable Arab terrorists have been entering the US over its porous southern border, or on flights from Arab countries, without interference. I would adevise my fellow Israelis who will soon be enjoying their summer vacations to abjure from visiting the USA and spend your money here, at home. Especially in those areas hit hardest by the terrorists. Our southern neighbors need your help, the anti-Israel Obama administration does not.

  5. carol brooner says:

    My sentiments exactly Heather.
    It’s obvious he is punishing Israel, because she
    will not be bullied by this evil administration.
    I stand with you Israel, and most Americans do.
    The LORD bless you and keep you, The LORD make His
    face shine upon you, the LORD lift up His countenance
    to you, and give you peace.
    Shalom and love from Carol, Oklahoma

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