Posted on October 04, 2006 in Press Releases

As Many as 120,000 Arab Americans Believed to be Adversely Affected by Israeli Policy

WASHINGTON – Oct. 4, 2006 – The Arab American Institute (AAI) is encouraging Arab Americans who have encountered problems or been turned away when entering Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to report details to the State Department and AAI.

Those who have been affected by Israel’s recently implemented visa policy are urged to fill out the a consular form titled “Refusal of Entry Information Sheet,” which is available through American Citizen Services at the office of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. Completed forms can be e-mailed to jerusalemacs@state.gov as well as rabouchedid@aaiusa.org.

AAI believes that firsthand accounts from Arab Americans about difficulties in entering the region – believed to be as many as 120,000 – will help prompt the State Department to recognize the widespread, discriminatory and adverse effects of the policy and advocate for its change. AAI is also actively working with the Consulate General in order to assist Arab Americans who have been detained, turned away or harassed upon entry.

AAI is deeply troubled by this policy, which bars groups of Americans from traveling through the region simply because of their Palestinian ethnicity, and calls upon Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to address the situation while she meets this week with Middle Eastern leaders to work towards a peaceful solution to ongoing conflict in the region.

For additional information about this developing situation, please call American Citizens Services in Jerusalem at 001-972-02-622-7216 or contact AAI at 202-429-9210

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