Americans for Peace Now (APN) welcomes the news that Israel has stripped the regulation that would have required foreigners to report romantic relationships with Palestinian ID holders to Israeli authorities from the new Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) entry guidelines and thanks the Biden administration for its efforts to change the protocol.
However, this regulation was just one in a series of other draconian restrictions designed to micro-engineer the public and private lives of Palestinians that are still scheduled to be formally implemented on October 20th. These entry procedures simply put into writing the pervasive discriminatory practices that for years have been informal Israeli policy. Merely preventing the implementation of the official policy without changing the practice will not be enough to alleviate the problem.
We call on the government of Israel to lift the regulations and end the restrictive practices, which the US
embassy in Israel correctly describes as “onerous.” We urge the Biden
administration to redouble its efforts to convince the Israeli government to shelve these new regulations and
permanently end the unofficial discriminatory practices that inspired the regulations to begin with.
APN President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: "Rather than end the discriminatory practices that have, among other things, long disqualified Israel from inclusion in the United States Visa waiver program, Israel has instead chosen to codify them. I hope to one day see Israel meet all of the requirements and be added to the US Visa Waiver Program, but further cementing the arbitrary and cruel practices of the occupation brings us farther from that day.”
To hear more about the problematic aspects of the new COGAT policies, please view this webinar featuring Americans for Peace Now and Jessica Montell of HaMoked.