Activists who hold views that do not align with those of liberal groups could be reported as “violent,” with no supporting evidence, and summarily added to the visa blacklist.
By Adina Katz, World Israel News
The U.S. embassy in Israel is considering adding the names of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria who are allegedly involved in violent confrontations with Palestinians to a blacklist, which could see them denied American visas, according to a report by Israel Hayom.
Notably, people who have not been arrested, prosecuted nor convicted in court of any crimes could be affected by the new policy; rather, mere suspicion of being involved in clashes with Palestinians would be sufficient grounds for the U.S. to punitively deny or cancel their visas.
Israel Hayom reported that the embassy may use left-wing NGOs as an authority for deciding who should be added to the list.
Settlers who pro-Palestinian groups say are “suspected to have been involved in violence towards Arabs or engaged in intimidation or incitement to violence” will likely be added to the list, Israel Hayom reported.
Such a system would be ripe for political exploitation, as activists whose views do not align with those of liberal groups could be reported as “violent,” with no supporting evidence, and summarily added to the blacklist.
The report about the new policy comes a day after a senior Biden administration official told the United Nations Security Council that Washington expects Israel to devote the same resources and effort in punishing Jewish “extremists” that it does on anti-terror campaigns.
Recent years have heard promises from Biden administration officials and Israeli politicians that a visa waiver agreement between the U.S. and Israel is on the horizon. However, due to the collapse of the coalition led by Natfali Bennett in June 2022, critical legislation on the issue has been stalled.
It’s unclear if Israelis on the blacklist would be banned from entering the U.S., should the visa waiver agreement come to fruition.
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