As the deadline for Israel to join the United States Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Visa Waiver Program (VWP) inches closer, we are at a pivotal moment.
We need your help to ensure that, prior to admission to the VWP, Israel verifiably ends its discrimination against American citizens of Palestinian origin, Arab Americans, and others who express criticism of the Occupation traveling to and from Israel – a practice that has precluded Israel from admission into the program thus far.
As a pro-Israel organization, we would be delighted to see Israel admitted into the VWP but when, and only
when, Israel offers “reciprocal privileges to citizens and nationals of the United States” as the VWP statutorily
Thankfully, Congress is weighing in. Congressman Jonathan Jackson (D-IL) is leading a letter calling on the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to ensure that Israel meets all of the necessary requirements before considering the inclusion of Israel into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
There are three critical areas that need to be addressed before Israel is admitted to the VWP, as outlined in the letter to Secretary Blinken and Secretary Mayorkas:
- Full reciprocity for American citizens traveling to and from Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
- Full access to Israel and the OPT for all Americans, without restrictions.
- Guaranteed freedom of expression for Americans advocating for Palestinian human rights.
It is imperative that we prioritize equal treatment and freedom of travel for all US citizens, regardless of their national origin, ethnicity, or religion. This is why I am urging you to ask your Member of Congress to sign on to this important letter requesting updates on the status of Israel’s admittance to the VWP and on how the administration will approach the concerns regarding reciprocity.
The United States must continue to hold Israel to the same standard we require all other countries in the program to meet –equal treatment for American citizens. Your support and advocacy is crucial. Together, we can ensure that Israel's inclusion in the VWP is contingent upon meeting these essential requirements.
Click HERE to ask your member of Congress to sign on to this important letter.
Read the full text of the letter here.