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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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US Embassy, Tel Aviv (Only) Less Service Due to ‘Security Concerns’

With all the violent hot spots around the world, only the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv reduced visa services.
U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.

U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Photo Credit: us.state.gov

There is an ominous “Important Notice” on the website of the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The Notice informs anyone seeking to obtain a visa in order to travel to the United States that “due to the current security situation in Tel Aviv,” the Embassy is “operating at reduced staffing” and that it “has canceled routine visa application processing and American Citizen services.”

Emergencies involving American citizens and visa applicants, the Important Notice explains, will be reviewed on a case by case basis, but non-emergencies will not be handled until further notice.

(Maybe this will teach them that the Embassy should be in Jerusalem, which has received fewer tzeva adom alerts than has Tel Aviv.)

A quick check reveals that there is no such “security situation” Important Notice for the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. There isn’t one in Baghdad, Iraq or in Cairo, Egypt, either. No visa problems at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, either. And Yemen is a go, as is Tunisia.

The only other U.S. Embassy in the entire Middle East, other than Israel, where visa services has been suspended is in Damascus, Syria. But that gives cold comfort, given the U.S. Embassy in Syria closed for all purposes on February 6, 2012. Oh, and Iran – no visas being given out there, either. There hasn’t been a U.S. Embassy in Iran since 1979.

Visa services are readily available at the U.S. Embassy in Karachi, Pakistan.  There is no such “security situation,” Important Notice, like the one in Israel, for the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

But wait, there is a special message on the U.S. Embassy to Kabul, Afghanistan‘s website. Never mind. This message simply states that the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is “currently experiencing technical problems with our visa system. We are operating at a significantly reduced capacity” because of the backlog. However, this problem “is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document or visa category.” And with that, the general information about obtaining a visa through the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is provided.

In Africa, visa services seem to be available everywhere except for the nation Central African Republic, which has been convulsed in violence and coups since it was declared independent from France in 1960. In Nigeria, home base of Boko Haram, visa services are open and welcoming. Services have not been limited in Sudan or in Rwanda.

So, as was the case with the Federal Aviation Authority recently, the U.S. government has singled out Israel for an almost laughable overreaction to the current conflict in the southwest of Israel and Gaza.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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48 Responses to “US Embassy, Tel Aviv (Only) Less Service Due to ‘Security Concerns’”

  1. Worst president ever

  2. Worst president ever

  3. Kim Sloan says:

    Turn the US Embassy into a 5 star hotel, and shopping center! Let them move their offices to Gaza!

  4. Kim Sloan says:

    Turn the US Embassy into a 5 star hotel, and shopping center! Let them move their offices to Gaza!

  5. Im embarrassed to be an American

  6. Im embarrassed to be an American

  7. This was my first thought, is this true!

  8. Shlomit Saar says:

    And they keep on saying that they are our friends! Goal nefesh! Obama & Kerry made so much balagan around the world and they keep on doing so! 2 idiots! Shame on you USA!!!

  9. I do not always share the views of The Jewish Press….but this one is head on…The American State Department has singled out Israel as a bad guy for many a year…..you have to admit we have been chosen “again”

  10. Judy Richka says:

    This is the administration. It is called

  11. Richard Bell says:

    Thanks Obama. Why not deploy troops to assist ham ass. The united states election cannot come soon enough. You have cost your party the election

  12. Judy Richka says:

    Not doing what I want punishment.

  13. Mary Prine says:

    Hate to hear this!!

  14. This disgraceful. I am ashamed of being a US citizen. I have always voted for the democratic party, the way our government has handled the situation in the Ukraine and Israel is abominable. I will never vote for a democrat again.

  15. This is disgraceful.

  16. Rick Lutes says:

    “The American pressure is not relevant, since I have not heard of tunnels that reach the Pentagon or the White House.”

    Haim Yalin, the head of the Eshkol Regional Council on the Gaza border

  17. It’s called antisemetism. And yes, we have antisemites in Washington DC.

  18. Another Ship of Shame situation. I agree with Travis Dunnie, I’m also embarrassed to be an American. But I’m very proud to be Jewish!

  19. la administración Obama sigue con su doble rasero, presionando aquien no debe…

  20. Shlomit Saar (For the record, I never voted for Obama.) There are many Americans who love and support Israel as much as I do. I spend as much as 12 1/2 or more hours a day on the Web in defense of Israel. So please don’t say, “Shame on you USA!!!” Lashon Hara is forbidden in Judaism.

  21. oh please who would want to go there anyway, come to Australia you will be welcome with open arms

  22. We run at every concern now? what if I wanted to go fight for Israel??

  23. We run at every concern now? what if I wanted to go fight for Israel??

  24. guess I wouldn’t need the embassy then huh??

  25. To me it is glaring of the current feelings of the US toward Israel. There should be no doubt the feelings of U.S. for Israel. It saddens and sickens me.

  26. Our State Department has been remiss for six years now — because we have a Muslim-leaning president!

  27. Wow. Just wow. Makes me embarrassed to be a citizen.

  28. The US has security concerns because of the criminal enterprise Islam.

  29. Obama is not an African-American, he is an Arab due to his father’s bloodline. That explains his loyalties which are not with the US and his hatred towards Jews.

  30. Leave it to Kerry & Obama.

  31. Leave it to Kerry & Obama.

  32. This is an attack, from the Obama group, on Israel and the people who love and support Israel.

  33. Probably at the direction of the tea party. They will do what ever they can to embarrass Obama. I am kinda surprised the Tea party hasnt gotten Hezbollah to do something to Israel.

  34. Obvious political, not security, action

  35. I call buls@&t on this !

  36. Another way to try to hurt Israel by Obama and Kerry. They are behaving like z2 spoiled children throwing temper tantrums..

  37. Kathy Lee says:

    Any excuse to “bad mouth ” Israel…:-(

  38. Usani Utum says:

    It means that American government is anti Israel. Baruch Hashem, no nation can beat Israel

  39. Itamar Gnatt says:

    Allan, the tea party doesn’t have to do anything to embarrass Obama. He’s a big enough of an embarrassing disgrace alone.

  40. Donny Reich says:

    Everyone else in Tel-Aviv is conducting business as usual. What’s the deal here? Is this a joke? Ambassador Dan Shapiro, care to enlighten us?

  41. Fran London says:

    It isn’t security reasons, it is a way to get back at Israel, the same they did when the US stopped flights into Israel. Shame on our Government

  42. Talk about being two faced.

Comments are closed.

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