Rights group sues US government to block Israel’s entry to visa waiver program

A leading Arab American rights group is suing the US government and calling on a federal court to halt any further actions admitting Israel into the visa waiver program (VWP).

The lawsuit, filed by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), states that based on credible reports and investigations, Israel is currently on the verge of being accepted into the VWP, despite failing to meet the legal requirements needed for entry.

It accuses the US government of allowing Israel to discriminate against Americans entering the occupied West Bank and other Palestinian territories.

“Defendants’ decision to enter into an agreement that allows the cabinet of Israel to create different classes of US citizens and treat them disparately in a way that is not reciprocal with how the US treats Israeli citizens.”

Abed Ayoub, the ADC’s Executive Director, said in a statement that “admitting Israel into the program would be an endorsement of discrimination against Palestinian and Arab Americans.”

Experts, rights groups, lawmakers, and Palestinian Americans have already raised concerns, saying that the Tel Aviv regime was creating a multi-tiered system of entry that treats different groups of US citizens unequally, particularly Palestinians and other Arab Americans.

Earlier this month, more than a dozen senators raised these concerns with the Biden administration, sending a letter that warned against moving forward with Israel’s entry into the VWP.

The ADC has said that the discrimination by Israel against American citizens even exists within the entity’s current policies, including restrictions on how Palestinian Americans can cross checkpoints into the occupied West Bank and the “inhumane treatment of Palestinian Americans when they try to return to the US”.

Palestinian Americans have been the latest victims of the ongoing violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

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