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Saturday, April 19, 2014

A new excuse to bar Israelis from the US?

In the latest and possibly most (sur)real excuse for barring Israelis from the US, Roll Call reports that US intelligence agencies are opposed to making Israel part of the US visa waiver program.
Until now, U.S. officials have said they have refused Israel’s entry into the program only because the Jewish state does not meet specific requirements for inclusion, including a rate of refusal for Israelis seeking U.S. visas no higher than 3 percent and reciprocal courtesies for U.S. citizens visiting Israel.
Several senators are pushing a bill that would effectively waive those requirements for Israel.
But this is the first time congressional aides have indicated that intelligence and national security concerns also are considerations in weighing Israel’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program.
“The U.S. intelligence community is concerned that adding Israel to the Visa Waiver program would make it easier for Israeli spies to enter the country,” a senior House aide said.
Spies? A shpy? Like this guy?

Let's go to the videotape.

Yes, a shpy.
Several congressional aides said that members of the intelligence community, as well as officials from the State and Homeland Security departments, expressed those concerns in a classified briefing to lawmakers and staffers on the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over visa issue.
Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., “has heard reservations from the intelligence community about allowing Israel into the visa waiver program because of concerns that it would allow in Israeli spies,” a House Foreign Affairs Committee aide said.
Judiciary staffers conveyed those concerns to the Foreign Affairs Committee, aides from the Foreign Affairs panel said.
A U.S. official confirmed the Goodlatte briefing, saying officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI and the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive took part.
Here's a list of the countries who are currently part of the visa waiver program.

Israel is one of nine countries on a list of countries that are 'nominated and roadmap countries.' You can see a list of the rejection rates for every country here.  (Scroll down to the bottom). Among the countries with a lower rejection rate than Israel are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Malaysia. Something is really wrong here.

The reason for Israel's rejection is surreal, but it also may finally be the real reason. How do you prove a negative?

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At 1:19 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Is the level of hassled entry processes the same for all Israelis? Like Brightsource, Ormat, Better Place, etc Green employees? Who would know that?

At 2:49 AM, Blogger Marvin said...

Maybe it's better to allow waivers for countries like the UK, France, Sweden that have a growing population of radical Muslims. It is easier for a radical Muslim to come here without a visa. The chances of being exposed to spying must be greater with those countries mentioned than with Israel. What a heap of horse manure!!!


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