Israel Travel Experience Survey
In order to better address the severe and discriminatory practices by Israel, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has launched a survey to centralize the collection of experiences entering and exiting Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). For decades, it has been clear that Arab Americans face dehumanizing practices when attempting to travel to and from both Israel and the OPT. Even the US State Department has recognized this unequal treatment, stating on its website under the Entry, Exit, and Visa Requirements heading, “Some U.S. citizens of Arab or Muslim heritage (including Palestinian-Americans) have experienced significant difficulties and unequal and occasionally hostile treatment at Israel’s borders and checkpoints.” This discriminatory treatment is punctuated by the fact that Palestinian Americans who hold Palestinian IDs (and are often required by the Israeli government to receive one) are treated not as Americans, but Palestinians, and are prohibited from entering Israel without advance permission.
While the State Department directs any US citizen who experiences such discrimination to contact the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit of the US Embassy in Israel, it does not regularly or uniformly collect and analyze the information it receives. As we are doing with our Arab American Minority Business Development Questionnaire, ADC is once again filling the gap that the federal government has left. This lack of centralized and uniform information on the experiences that American citizens and residents have when traveling to Israel and the OPT has allowed the US government to brush aside the serious concerns that Arab Americans have.
During a time when the Department of Homeland Security is considering admitting Israel into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), it is particularly important that the Arab American community’s experiences are presented as more than just anecdotes. Whether or not you were allowed to enter, your travel experience is an integral piece of demonstrating that the Israeli government adheres to neither the spirit nor the letter of the law establishing the VWP. Make sure that your travel experience is added by filling out the survey HERE. Should your family be traveling, send them the link to the survey as well!
As with every ADC survey and questionnaire, your personal information will NEVER be shared outside of ADC without your express and informed consent.