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Oppose Israel’s Entry in Visa Waiver Program Due to Racial Discrimination

January 6, 2022
Nawash Law Office

There is an effort being quietly promoted by President Biden and several members of the U.S. Senate to include Israel in the Visa Waiver Program even if Israel regularly excludes Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim Americans from entering Israel.

By way of background, the Visa Waiver Program allows Israelis to enter the United States without a visa. To be included in this program, the law requires that all Americans be treated equally. Currently, Israel forbids Americans who hold a Palestinian ID from entering Israel. Israel is seeking an exemption from treating Palestinian Americans like all other Americans. In other words, Israel is seeking a license to practice racial discrimination against Palestinian Americans.

In addition to excluding Palestinian Americans from Visiting Israel, Israel regularly excludes Arab Americans and Muslim Americans who are not Palestinian from visiting Jerusalem and other Israeli cities.

To convince the United States to admit Israel in the Visa Waiver Program, Israel recently announced that it may allow Americans of Palestinian origin to land at Ben Gurion Airport if they do not have a Palestinian identification card. Currently, most Palestinian Americans are not allowed to use Israel's airport.

However, even under Israel's latest proposal, Palestinian Americans who hold a Palestinian ID card will not be allowed to use Israel/Palestine's only international airport when they visit their families. Thus, Palestinian Americans will be forced to travel to Amman, Jordan, and then try to enter the West Bank by bus, using the Allenby crossing but they will not be allowed to enter Jerusalem or any other Israeli city.

Israel is seeking a legal exemption to exclude Palestinian Americans from visiting their ancestral home and the Biden administration has expressed support for Israel's use of racial discrimination against Palestinian Americans.

Please join Americans who oppose racism by contacting your Senator and demand that the U.S. reject Israel's entry into the Visa Waiver Program until all Americans of Palestinian origin are treated equally to other Americans by being allowed to enter Israel using Ben Gurion Airport, whether they hold a Palestinian Identification card or not.

Should you have questions about Israel's effort to be admitted in the Visa Waiver Program, please contact the Nawash Law Office at 202-776-7191 or [email protected].


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