Don’t Harass U.S. Citizens, Israel Warned
The Administration has warned Israel that continued harassment of Arab-Americans and black Americans traveling to Israel could force an unprecedented U.S. government travel advisory, sources said today.
Such a travel advisory would warn those two segments of the American population about problems they might face if they travel to Israel.
“We’re considering it seriously,” said an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But nobody wants to do it. It’s not in motion.”
The State Department, through diplomatic channels, has made clear to the Israelis U.S. displeasure over harassment of some Arab-Americans and black Americans when entering Israel.
The department said Monday that so far this year, about 60 such Americans “have had problems entering Israel.” This follows a “significant increase” in the number of complaints during last year’s summer tourist season, the department said, from those received over many years.
In one incident reported today by the Washington Post, Nawal Hamad, an American woman of Palestinian origin from Washington’s Virginia suburbs, and her four children were detained for 12 hours at Ben-Gurion Airport by Israeli immigration authorities, denied the right to call the U.S. Consulate or speak to relatives waiting outside the terminal and put on the next flight back to Paris.