The US is apparently refusing to grant visas to Israeli security service agents, the ultra-right-wing Israeli news website Arutz Shiva 7 reports.
“Senior security personnel… said that over the past year there have seen hundreds of cases in which members of the Shin Bet [the internal security service] and Mossad [the foreign spy agency], and workers in Israel’s defence industries, have been told they cannot visit America,” the report said, citing the Israeli newspaper Maariv.
The paper quoted a senior Israeli security expert as saying that he was denied a visa to the US this year despite having visited the country many times in the past without incident. “I’ve been in the US dozens of times as part of my job, and I never had any problem getting a visa,” he moaned.
And that’s not all. According to Arutz Shiva, Israeli spies already in the US are being given only short-term visas, and being made to leave for Canada and wait weeks for their visas to be renewed.
This, Arutz Shiva says,
follows the revelation in February that the US State Department is increasingly rejecting visa requests from Israeli citizens. Data released by the State Department showed an 80 per cent increase in the number of visa request rejections in 2013.
In total, 9.7 per cent of tourist visa requests from Israelis were rejected in 2013, up from 5.4 per cent in 2012. As recently as 2007, just 2.5 per cent of requests were denied.
Perhaps, belatedly, the US is beginning to understand that Israel is bad for its health.