The Biden administration announced today that it is admitting Israel into the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) as
of this coming November.
While Americans for Peace Now supports Israel’s inclusion in the program, we believe that doing so before Israel has fully complied with all the program’s requirements is a mistake.
We realize that Israel has gone a long way toward crossing the threshold that would deem it as complying with the program’s requirements, and support those steps it has taken. But it has not crossed the threshold.
Although the US administration and the government of Israel have yet to release the full details of their
understandings regarding the VWP, it is clear that important obstacles, which have been standing in the way of
establishing US-Israeli reciprocity, have not yet been lifted. These problems will now be discussed by a joint
committee, which will attempt to reconcile the rights of US citizens with Israeli security concerns related to its
rule over the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.
APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “Israel has legitimate security concerns. These concerns largely stem from an illegitimate military occupation. By welcoming Israel into the Visa Waiver Program with special exceptions, the Biden administration is bending over backward to accommodate Israel’s occupation. Simply put, there is no reciprocity with occupation. And it is clear that Israel is not in compliance. Blue is blue. The Biden administration should have followed existing visa waiver law, and ensured that Israel met the program requirements before admission.”