Tags: US | Israel | visas

Israelis: Obama Withholding Visas to Israeli Security Personnel

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Mar 2014 10:19 AM

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 in its Tuesday edition.

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

Some Israeli officials who are getting visas are being issued documents with unusually brief validation periods. Israeli military personnel stationed in the U.S. 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 US on official business have been denied visas.

Speculation is rife as to what is behind the U.S. policy change – assuming there really 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's 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.

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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 in its Tuesday edition.
US,Israel,visas
309
2014-19-04
Tuesday, 04 Mar 2014 10:19 AM
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