"Your article fails to articulate the actual difficulties regularly faced by Palestinian Americans in entering Israel or occupied Palestine. There are no Palestinian voices and the article suffers as a result."
July 20, 2023
Dan Williams, Journalist, Reuters
Simon Lewis, Journalist, Reuters
Farah Syed, Managing Editor, News and Homepage, Yahoo Canada
Dear Ms. Syed, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Williams,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME, https://www.cjpme.org) to express concern about a Reuters article on Yahoo News Canada titled “Israel to allow Palestinian Americans entry in bid for US visa-free access” dated July 19, 2023.
The article outlines the ongoing negotiations between Israel and the US to admit Israel to the VWP (visa waiver program) and the change in Israel’s stance in allowing Palestinian Americans entry to Israel through normal touristic channels.
Your article fails to articulate the actual difficulties regularly faced by Palestinian Americans in entering Israel or occupied Palestine. There are no Palestinian voices and the article suffers as a result.
This is critical context, as Palestinians who have a dual citizenship and are entering Israel with their foreign (ie American, Canadian, British, etc) passport would still be singled out, asked what their background and ethnic origin are, and frequently detained for questioning for hours[i]. As a Palestinian Canadian, I have experienced this vehement form of racial profiling at the hands of the Israel border police/immigration every time I visited Palestine-Israel. Your article mentions that “Washington has blocked Israel’s longstanding bid to join the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) over differential treatment for some US citizens”. This is a very shallow statement lacking depth and detail. I would suggest changing it to:
“Washington has blocked Israel’s longstanding bid to join the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) over its longstanding practice of racial profiling; interrogating and often detaining Palestinian Americans based on their background.”
You cite numbers provided by the Arab American Institute Foundation (AAIUSA), but you do not cite their concerns.
In order to restore balance to the article, I insist that you note that the AAIUSA has called the MOU an “outrage.”
We expect that future reporting include context and when needed, background information in order to better inform your readers.
Should you wish, you can contact me at 438-380-5410 for more information.
Director of Strategic Operations, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East