ZOA Demands Answers from Biden Administration on Inappropriate Questioning of IDF Veterans
June 26, 2024

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly condemned the change in policy by the Biden Administration towards Israelis seeking permeant resident status in the United States or requesting a visa. Sometime in the last few months, Israelis seeking a response from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security have begun to face detailed questioning about their service in the IDF, with the clear implication that routine service in the army of the Jewish State may constitute war crimes. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) sent a letter last week to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (see https://www.cotton.senate.gov/news/press-releases/cotton-to-mayorkas-your-job-is-to-protect-our-borders-not-interrogate-our-allies) demanding answers about the apparent change in American policy. It is clear that the context of the new policy is to increase the pressure on Israel to avoid the total destruction of Hamas. It is reprehensible that the Biden administration is joining with various UN agencies to prevent an Israeli victory in Gaza.

The facts are undisputed. Israelis living in the United States and routinely applying for a green card have been asked very detailed questions about service in the IDF, including if the applicant had been in combat, commanded troops, guarded ‘detainees,’ worked with explosives, or fired any weapon. An IDF female veteran routinely seeking a Visa to America at a European consulate was asked similar questions and then unceremoniously denied entry without any explanation. The letter sent by Senator Cotton demands answers about this new policy, and ZOA strongly agrees that Secretary Mayorkas should provide them to Congress and change this outrageous policy.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:

“The entire Biden administration has displayed a disturbing hostility to Israel as it fights for its life against Iran and the Nazi-like Islamic terrorists of Hamas. The pattern of this new policy against heroes who have served their country honorably, combined with the slow walking of needed munitions while Israel is at war, is beyond despicable. ZOA agrees with Caroline Glick – Biden is implementing a “whole-of-government policy of criminalizing Israel and its citizens.” (https://www.jns.org/bidens-whole-of-government-hostility-to-israel/) The Jewish community in the United States has not spoken up enough about this pattern of hostility, but ZOA will not be silent and will do everything it can to draw attention to this bizarre and self-defeating treatment of our best ally in the region.”

ZOA Director of Government Relations Dan Pollak said:

“ZOA thanks Sen. Cotton for his leadership in drawing attention to this outrageous and inappropriate weaponization of the visa and immigration process to try to achieve a political result. It will not help President Biden in his political campaign anyway, but combined with other actions taken by the administration, it is becoming clear that that is not really the point. There is an effort within the American government to sacrifice our country’s actual interests for ideological points of some kind. When the answers to Senator Cotton’s reasonable questions come back, ZOA calls on all members of Congress to hold the administration accountable.”

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