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Sunday, May 25, 2008

US passport no longer guarantees entry to Israel

Based on two high-profile cases in the last seven weeks, it appears that a US passport is no longer a guarantee of entry into Israel - even for Jews. In April, Israel announced that Richard Falk, the Israel-hating Princeton professor who was appointed 'special investigator' by the United Nations 'Human Rights Council' would not be granted entry into Israel. And on Friday of this past week, Israel deported Holocaust-denying former Professor Norman Finkelstein, after he arrived in Israel on a flight from Amsterdam.

This is good news for several reasons. First, Israel should not admit enemies like Falk and Finkelstein into the country. We are a sovereign nation and have the right to keep out those who would try to destroy us. Second, the 'Palestinians' have complained from time to time that Israel has denied entry to American citizens of 'Palestinian' extraction. Denying entry to Falk and Finkelstein, both of whom are Jewish, shows that the policy is not to discriminate against 'Palestinians' or other Arabs, but rather to discriminate against Israel's enemies. While the 'Palestinians' may not like that, they have no legitimate right to complain about it.

While the Falk and Finkelstein cases have brought Israel's denial of entry policy into focus, it is really nothing new. Two years ago, I blogged an article from moonbat Amira Hass that complained about it.
The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv told Haaretz that no Israeli official informed them of a change in entry policy, and said that the United States cannot intervene in sovereign decisions of another country. Several people who were refused entry and spoke with U.S. representatives said that the consulate and embassy are well aware of the apparently new policy.

An e-mail from the department of U.S. Citizen Services in Jerusalem to a U.S. citizen who had inquired about entering the West Bank stated that the consul general had met with a representative from the Israeli Interior Ministry regarding the government's entry policies: "The Israeli official conceded that 90-day visa entry cards, which were once routinely granted in the past, especially to U.S. citizens, are now more difficult to obtain, specifically for Palestinian American citizens traveling to the West Bank and for U.S. nationals affiliated with humanitarian organizations. Both the U.S. Embassy and the Consulate in Jerusalem are pursuing the issue." [In other words, if you're coming to be a human shield with the ISM, you're not going to get an automatic tourist visa - and with good reason. CiJ]

Israel's Civil Administration stated in response that "the entry to the region of foreigners who are not residents of the territories takes place by means of visit permits issued by the Palestinian Authority and approved by the Israeli side," because coordination stopped after September 2000, and entry was permitted in exceptional humanitarian cases - a practice that was also suspended after the Hamas government was formed. Today, the statement continued, cases "involving special humanitarian need" are being considered.
And in fact, about a month before that article was written, the ISM's Paul Larudee, who heads the organization's Northern California branch, was denied entry into Israel.

But the best news in all this is that we have apparently not heard even a peep about it from the US State Department. The latest travel warning from the State Department doesn't even mention it.


At 3:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

What happened was long overdue. People who engage in anti-Israel activities and who oppose the Jewish State's existence should NOT be admitted into Israel. This is irrespective of whether they are Jewish or non-Jewish. Like every country in the world, Israel has the right to determine who should be allowed entry into the country. Israel is a welcoming country but that spirit of hospitality Jews inherited from Abraham, who welcomed travelers to seek refreshment and rest with him, shouldn't be abused. Refusing entry to the likes of Richard Falk and Norman Finkelstein, in my mind, was simply the right thing to do.

At 3:44 AM, Blogger Redwood509 said...

Bravo,for once Israeli officials were not napping! It is hi-time that those attempting to subvert Israel, actively seek its destruction will be denied entry with a warning not to try to come back on another passport. This should also apply to journalists who deliberately make up stories, stage the news, fake photos and the denial of the right to operate in Israel to their bureaus, affiliations and their employers. For example, a good place to start: The BBC, the famously known Biased Broadcasting Corporation whose repressed correspondent cried when the cadavre of Terror Master, pedophile Arafat was flown into Ramallah. Or the fruitcake Alan Johnston and his crew...the list is long, but it is time the lazy Press Bureau of Olmert get started somewhere.

At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These moves are long past due.

Now Israel should bar Jimmy Carter and his ilk, and all those NGO's that are anti Israel; and the BBC, CBC, CNN, New York TImes, Washington Post, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail AP, UP, Reuters, France 2, CUPE, CAW and the list goes on and on ad infinitum.

The Israeli government should set up a Freedom From Defamation and Misinformation bureau to monitor all those individuals and organizations that are constantly trying to damage and destroy Israel.


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