Photo Credit: Kobi Richter / TPS
Israeli passport

Israelis applying for U.S. green cards are reporting the introduction of a new line of questioning regarding their military service, according to Israeli media reports.

While visitors to the United States have been asked basic questions about their military service before, it appears the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has singled out Israelis with a new policy, according to Ynet.


Attorney Liam Schwartz, head of the relocation department at Tel Aviv-based law firm Goldfarb, Gross, Seligman & Co., told Ynet the new policy is “intended to ‘catch’ military personnel and police officers who participated in arrests in Judea and Samaria.”

The hunt for information may also be used “by the authorities for the purpose of formulating their position in relation to acts defined as genocide,” he told Ynet.

Yuval, identified as a senior manager at a Silicon Valley high-tech firm, received a letter from U.S. immigration services demanding more information about his military service before it could reach a final decision in his case.

“You must submit an affidavit under oath, describing your military service,” the latter stated. “As part of this affidavit, the following questions must be addressed: Did you participate as a combatant in battles during your military service? If so, please describe your activity/role in these battles.”

It also asked for details about his command, whether he ever guarded detainees and the types of weapons and explosives he used.

“For me, the feeling is as if questions were copied from the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague,” he said.

Yuval was given 87 days to submit the affidavit or face deportation.

Those applying for visas at a U.S. Embassy outside Israel also may face a grilling, Ynet reported, offering the example of Roital, who decided to continue a European trip to America.

She applied for a tourist visa at an American consulate in western Europe.

“I was in an interview that lasted more than half an hour, and all the questions referred to my combat service. The interviewer was very curious about my training and skills in weapons and explosives, and wanted to know details about the reserves in Gaza,” she said.

“In the end, the guy left the window for about 10 minutes, I could see he was talking passionately with someone else. He returned, handed me the passport, said, ‘You are not eligible for a visa today’ and closed the window blinds.”

Ofer, vice president of North American Marketing for a real estate company, told Ynet about his experience two weeks ago with customs officials upon entering the United States……

Arriving at Los Angeles International airport, he was ushered into a room for further interrogation after presenting his Israeli passport.

“They opened my laptop. Looked up a Google Chrome account with the name of my unit and called a translator. There was nothing classified there. Just correspondence about the unit’s treatment of evacuees from several localities. It’s just that there was a lot of such correspondence. I sat for four hours until they decided I could collect my things and leave,” he told Ynet.

“In the meantime, I missed the connecting flight and I waited another six hours until the next flight. I travel so much to the United States, I have never been bullied like this as an Israeli,” he said.

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