The short-lived American ban on travel to Israel when Hamas was firing missiles on metropolitan Tel Aviv should not apply to banning visas from Ebola-infected countries because such a move would be “counter-productive,” U.S. State Dept. Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday.
“I wanted to ask why this situation and the discussion of a travel ban is so different from the travel ban that was issued by the FAA a few months ago, when there were bombs raining down on the Tel Aviv airport and there were concerns about the safety of Americans,” one journalist asked Psaki.
Psaki explained that no visa ban is necessary because there are “necessary screenings in place” and that visa are needed “to provide supplies, [for] being able to train people, being able to track and ensure that we’re going – we’re allowing for a global response to this effort.
“It would be counterproductive even to allow those individuals not to be able to apply. We don’t see a medical benefit to it, so that’s why we haven’t made the decision.
During the wear, the Iron Dome system effectively intercepted missiles that threatened Ben Gurion Airport, but when some debris of the anti-missile system was found in a nearby city, the Obama administration jumped on the “danger” to ban travel. The ban was issued immediately after President Barack Obama complained that Israel’s retaliation to the missile bombardment, threatening most of Israel, was disproportionate” because the Israeli counter-terror campaign was far more effective than Hamas’ terrorist strikes.
President Obama insisted there was no connection between the ban and the death toll in Gaza, but officials suddenly removed the ban after two days, even though missiles still were flying over central Israel.
The inquiring journalist at Thursday’s daily press briefing pointed out that “it just takes one” Ebola-infected passenger to create a catastrophe and that a visa ban is “not going to stop American health workers, American military guys from going there, but it could prevent even a single Ebola-infected person from coming into the – from getting into the United States.”
But it’s ”counter-productive,” said Psaki for the third or fourth time, without explaining what that is supposed to mean.