Report: Israeli Security Personnel Denied US Visas

Tuesday, 04 Mar 2014 07:28 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Hundreds of Israeli military officers, intelligence operatives, and those working for the country's defense industry are being denied U.S. visas once routinely approved, the Hebrew tabloid Ma'ariv reported Tuesday.

Israeli citizens who want to visit the United States must obtain a visa from the American embassy in Tel Aviv.

Special: Powerful New Movie Reveals Alarming Threats on U.S. Border – See Trailer Here.

Some Israeli officials who are getting visas are being issued documents with unusually brief validation periods. Israeli military personnel stationed in the United States working at the embassy or regional Israeli missions – some involved in liaison with the American military or the U.S. defense industry – have found it necessary to travel to Canada, where they await renewal of their U.S. visas.

The apparent new policy became noticeable in 2013. One source told the newspaper that he had discounted rumors of people from the "security establishment" being denied visas, until he sought to renew his own paperwork. "It looks like I'll have to cancel my planned trip to the U.S. for the simple reason that I can't get in."

Ma'ariv reported that more than two dozen Israelis with ties to the military or the country's intelligence services scheduled to travel to the United States on official business have been denied visas.

Speculation is rife as to what is behind the U.S. policy change – assuming there is one.
Suggestions as to the motivation range from trying to make it harder for the Israelis to compete with the U.S. defense industry, supposed fear of industrial espionage, or political retribution.

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has been critical of Secretary of State John Kerry, calling his pressure on Israel to sign a deal with the Palestinian Authority "obsessive."

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv did not reply to a Newsmax request for comment.

Special: Powerful New Movie Reveals Alarming Threats on U.S. Border – See Trailer Here.

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