Today, Israel's Coordinating Office for Government Affairs in the Territories’ (COGAT) new West Bank
regulations will come into effect. Among the regulations are draconian restrictions intended to micro-engineer the
public and private lives of Palestinians (including American citizens) that would subject them to a restrictive
screening process and arbitrarily limit entry to the West Bank. Unfortunately, Palestinian-Americans are already
not afforded the same basic rights as other American passport holders when traveling to Israel and the Occupied
Territories –these new procedures officially codify Israel’s informal pervasive discriminatory practices.
At the same time, Israel is requesting to join the United States Visa Waiver Program. If they were deemed
eligible, this program would ease and expedite the entry process for Israeli travelers visiting the United States.
Until now, Israel has been denied admission to the program due to its failure to give reciprocal treatment to US
travelers. The formal implementation of COGAT’s discriminatory practices brings Israel further from eligibility for
the Visa Waiver Program.
We support Israel’s admission into the Visa Waiver Program. But if, and only if, they meet all of the
requirements. And it is clear that currently, they do not.