Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sen. Boxer: It's ok for Israel to discriminate against Americans

This news is a few weeks old, but the Los Angeles Times today published an Op-Ed piece by George Bisharat, professor at UC Hastings College of Law, on Sen. Barabara Boxer's proposed AIPAC-dictated legislation to codify Israel's right to discriminate against Americans. 
So why then have Boxer and her 18 senatorial co-sponsors proposed a U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act that would, among other things, include Israel in a visa waiver program that would make it easier for Israelis to visit the United States? Currently, citizens of 37 participating countries can enter the U.S. without a visa. American citizens can enter each of those countries on identical terms. Israel would be No. 38 — at least in terms of easy entry to the United States. Israel reportedly will not agree to the reciprocity requirement because it wants to continue racially profiling Muslim and Arab Americans. 
Why such blatant racial profiling of American citizens from a country our political leaders regularly call our best friend and ally? No Arab American has ever committed crimes in Israel to warrant harassment of us all — unless criticism of Israeli policies is such a crime. For while we all experience lengthy detention and interrogation, those of us who bear public witness to Israel's oppression of Palestinians are the most likely to be denied entry.

Contact Sen. Boxer and ask her to drop a provision in the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013, bill S. 462, that would legalize Israel's policy of ethnic and religious profiling of US citizens.

The provision is included in Section 9 of the bill and it reads: "has made every reasonable effort, without jeopardizing the security of the State of Israel, to ensure that reciprocal travel privileges are extended to all United States citizens."

The U.S. has similar agreements with 37 countries and none of them is granted the right to pick and choose which US citizens to grant entry based on their national security concerns.  Our laws should not justify and accommodate Israel's discrimination against our own citizens.

Contact Sen. Boxer at 202-224-3553 and by emailing her.
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