Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) commends the letter penned by fifteen U.S. Senators to Secretary Blinken, dated September 8, 2023, highlighting that Israel’s current policies towards Palestinian-Americans with Palestinian residency disqualify it from admission to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
The principle of the VWP’s visa-reciprocity condition is equal rights and treatment for all Americans, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or national origin. Blue is Blue. The letter rightly highlights the discrepancies in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the United States and Israel—which envisions a two-tiered system that discriminates against a subset group of U.S. citizens. Such a system is not only against the principles of reciprocity but also undermines the very essence of equality and justice. This would afford Israel latitude and privileges not afforded to any other country.
Blue is Blue requires that equal treatment and freedom of travel for all U.S. citizens, regardless of national origin, religion, or ethnicity, must be upheld. Any deviation from this principle violates U.S. citizens’ rights, goes against our nation’s values, and violates the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.
AJP Action is deeply concerned about the reports of U.S. citizens with Palestinian ID cards being denied fundamental rights and privileges within Israel. Discrimination based on ethnicity or national origin is unacceptable and goes against the principles of justice and equality.
We urge the U.S. government to ensure that any agreements or understandings with foreign nations, including Israel, uphold the principles of justice, equality, and reciprocity. The rights and dignity of U.S. citizens, regardless of their background, must be protected at all costs.
AJP Action stands in solidarity with all those who advocate for justice and equality. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and advocate for the rights of all individuals, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, or national origin.