Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
June 17, 2008 - 11:00pm
On June 19, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the American-Arab Institute (AAI), and the American Task Force for Palestine (ATFP) met with State Department officials from the Bureau of Consular affairs, and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs to discuss the practice of denying entry to US citizens of Palestinian or Arab descent into Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).

ADC, AAI and ATPF raised the community’s concerns about the ongoing pattern of discriminatory practice engaged by the State of Israel against US Citizens of Palestinian or Arab descent, particularly with the start of the summer vacation season. ADC also provided the State Department Officials with recent cases of denial of entry taking place in 2007 and 2008. In addition, the three organizations briefed the State Department Officials on the situation on the ground, and how that issue has created an atmosphere of apprehension among members of the community who are electing not to spend their summers in the OPT. The State Department expressed that in order to sufficiently monitor progress on this issue, it is crucial for individuals to report travel difficulties to the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem.

“It is essential that Palestinian- and other Arab-Americans are encouraged to visit Palestine and are given the chance to participate in building a vibrant, prosperous Palestinian state. Israeli policies that deter this, especially ones founded on discrimination against US citizens based on their national origin, do not forward US national interest,” said Ziad Asali, President of ATFP.

ADC, AAI and ATFP will continue to address that issue with State Department officials and are encouraging members of the community to fill out the US Consulate’s Denial of Entry Form at the following link http://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov/ in order to alert the U.S. Consulate when experiencing border or travel issues, or fill out the ADC's Entry of Denial Questionnaire at the following link: http://www.adc.org/index.php?id=2980.

If you have any questions or need assistance taking action, please feel free to contact Christina Zola from AAI at 202.429.9210, Fahed Al-Rawaf from ADC at 202.244.2990 or Ghaith Al-Omari from ATFP at 202.887.0177






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American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017