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ADC Sends First Hand Accounts of Israel’s Entry Denials of US Citizens to Secretary Rice

Washington, DC | March 20, 2008 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking the State Department to address the troubling issue of entry denials. US citizens and other foreign nationals are being discriminated against by the State of Israel by being denied entry or re-entry into the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel. To read ADC‘s letter, see:
www.adc.org/PDF/entrydenial.pdf
In October 2006, ADC began compiling first-hand accounts. Along with its letter, ADC sent these accounts, 122 pages of information, to Sec. Rice. It appears that these denials fall into two categories. The first group includes US citizens and foreign nationals, either short or long term visitors wishing to visit family or conduct business, who don‘t hold an Israeli-issued Palestinian ID entry into or residence in Palestine. The second group includes individuals who have applied for family unification, as per Israeli-defined regulations, who have been unable to gain permanent residency. The majority of this group are Palestinian ID holders petitioning for their spouse or children to become residents in the West Bank or Gaza. Regardless of whether you fall into either of these categories, please report your case information at:
https://www.adc.org/index.php?id=2980
Additionally, on March 17, the ADC National Office in conjunction with 19 of its local ADC chapters, the Arab-American Institute (AAI), and 29 other organizations sent a letter to Sec. Rice expressing deep concern about this ongoing issue of Israeli discrimination against Americans.
CASE EXAMPLES
A 54 year old woman was denied entry into Israel and the OPT on July 5, 2004 at the Ben-Gurion International Airport. The purpose of her visit was to study Arabic in Bethlehem, but she was denied entry because she was deemed a ‘security threat’ by the Israeli authorities.
A 42 year old man, along with his 67 year old ailing mother, were both denied entry to Israel and the OPT in July 2006. They were both planning to visit the Christian holy sites, but were informed by the Israeli immigration officers at the Allenby Bridge that they were denied entry because “no tourism” is allowed.
On September 27, 2006, a prominent American-Palestinian cardiologist was informed by an Interior Ministry official at Ben-Gurion International Airport that he had been coming to Israel and the OPT too often and that it is not certain whether he will be given permission to enter Israel and the OPT in the future. The cardiologist was working in a clinic in Ramallah, with 70 % of the patients being refugees, and helping re-establish institutions in the Palestinian Authority.
Most recently, two weeks ago, two American students of Palestinian origin traveling with their Israeli-born professor were denied entry to Israel. The Dean of their school, as well as their former Congressional representative, have been in contact with the State Department to resolve the matter.
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NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non sectarian and non partisan, is the largest Arab-American civil rights organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980, by former Senator James Abourezk to protect the civil rights of people of Arab descent in the United States and to promote the cultural heritage of the Arabs. ADC has 38 chapters nationwide with chapters in every major city in the country, and members in all 50 states.
The ADC Research Institute (ADC-RI), which was founded in 1981, is a Section 501(c)(3) educational organization that sponsors a wide range of programs on behalf of Arab Americans and of importance to all Americans. ADC-RI programs include: research studies, seminars, conferences and publications that document and analyze the discrimination faced by Arab Americans in the workplace, schools, media, and governmental agencies and institutions. ADC-RI also celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the Arabs.