US lawmaker Tlaib launches petition to reject Israel’s bid to join the visa waiver program

US-Palestinian congresswoman Rashida Tlaib launched a petition calling on US president Joe Biden to reject efforts to allow Israelis to enter the United States without a visa.

 

The petition also calls on Biden to reject Israeli discriminatory measures that restrict Palestinian-Americans’ ability to travel to the West Bank, live, work, teach, study, and reunite with family members there.

 

The petition asks the Biden administration to ensure that US law is upheld, which prohibits Israel from joining the Visa Waiver Program while continuing to discriminate against US citizens on the basis of their ethnicity, national origin, religion, and political opinion, as has been documented extensively by the State Department.

 

This letter closes for signatures on Monday, June 6.

 

“Next month Israel will greatly restrict Palestinians’ ability to travel to the West Bank, live, work, teach, study, and reunite with family members there. These new procedures will even force US citizens to provide Israel with incredibly intrusive information about the personal details of anyone they plan to visit in the West Bank, and any property Palestinians stand to inherit,” reported Americans for Justice in Palestine Actions (AJP Action).

 

These new Israeli procedures issued by Israel’s Coordinating Office for Government Affairs in the Territories (COGAT) are even more outrageous considering that Israel desperately wants to join the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which would allow visa-free entry of Israeli citizens to the US, it said.

 

However, this program requires that participating countries provide reciprocal, non-discriminatory treatment to US citizens. Instead of ending Israel’s discriminatory policies, these new procedures would increase the discrimination it metes out to US citizens based on their ethnicity, national origin, religion, and political opinions, it added.

 

Rashida Tlaib and other progressives are pushing back against these procedures and demanding information from the Biden administration to ensure that Israel reverses its discriminatory policies toward US citizens.

 

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA)

 

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