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Trump’s religion test for immigrants is standard practice in Israel

on 37 Comments

The widespread political condemnation of Donald Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States and for surveillance of mosques was pretty great yesterday. American leaders left and right said that such policies are unconstitutional and counter to U.S. values. “Donald Trump is a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot,” Senator Lindsey Graham said emphatically.

But those leaders are strong supporters of Israel (“The pro-Israel community has been the heart and soul of my campaign,” Graham told Jewish Insider), and Israel practices many of the policies that Trump wants the U.S. to implement.

For instance, Israeli airport security officials routinely ask travelers what their religion is and often bar Muslims as a result. Last night, Chris Matthews was enraged by Trump’s recommendation that American immigration officials ask travelers if they are Muslim. But our own State Department has blasted Israel for denying “entry or exit without explanation”– notably to “those whom Israeli authorities suspect of being of Arab, Middle Eastern, or Muslim origin.” [emphasis mine].

Nour Joudah, an American who was deported from Israel, explained that Israel discriminates against anyone with an Arab name, at Electronic Intifada:

I think it is very clear that they want as few people with Palestinian origin in what they consider Israel and the occupied territories because they don’t even want the [Palestinians] that are there. So why in God’s name would they want us returning in any form or fashion, even if it’s for a limited period or for a visit? … They consider no one’s citizenship valuable if you have an Arab name, end of story.

Sadly, Israeli profiling is already being offered as a model for American ports: “What’s so great about Israeli security? Profiling.”

Israel also discriminates against non-Jewish refugees and immigrants. In an article titled, “Trump is no more racist than mainstream Israeli policies,” +972 states:

“[I]n Israel, there is already a law banning Muslims from immigrating — the ‘Law of Return’ which gives that right to Jews alone.”

Yousef Munayyer, who was born in Israel, explains that the discrimination keeps him from living with his own wife in the country of his birth!

Today, a Jew from any country can move to Israel, while a Palestinian refugee, with a valid claim to property in Israel, cannot…

[B]ecause my wife has a Palestinian ID, she cannot fly [into Israel]; she is relegated to flying to Amman, Jordan. If we plan a trip together — an enjoyable task for most couples — we must prepare for a logistical nightmare that reminds us of our profound inequality before the law at every turn.

Even if we fly together to Amman, we are forced to take different bridges, two hours apart, and endure often humiliating waiting and questioning just to cross into Israel and the West Bank….

Israeli law prevents my wife from living with me in Israel. This is to prevent what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once referred to as “demographic spillover.” Additional Palestinian babies in Israel are considered “demographic threats” by a state constantly battling to keep a Jewish majority.

Compare Netanyahu’s racist xenophobic rhetoric to Trump’s claims re Mexicans and Muslims. There isn’t much difference.

P.S. A related criticism of Trump is that he is endangering American citizens because his comments fulfill extremist claims about pervasive Islamophobia in the United States. Trump is “the ISIL man of the year,” Lindsey Graham said on CNN.

“We have young men and women in harm’s way around the world… The enemy will use [this rhetoric] against us… He’s putting our soldiers and diplomats at risk.”

Secretary of State John Kerry offered a similar warning: 

“As I travel around the world, it is clear to me and how both our friends and our adversaries watch and listen to the discourse in the U.S., and I believe that comments such as those that we just heard are not constructive — and I would say that is putting it diplomatically.”

As did the Pentagon.

“Anything that bolsters ISIL’s narrative and pits the United States against the Muslim faith is certainly not only contrary to our values but contrary to our national security,” [spokesperson Peter Cook] said, using another name for ISIS.

But as all these officials can tell you, Israel’s discriminatory policies are also watched closely around the Arab and Muslim world and are held against the United States. Israel’s occupation of Palestine was a factor in the terrorist slaughter of 9/11 and last January in Paris. Israeli policies are said to have upset one of the San Bernardino killers, too. Donald Trump’s critics would be a lot more consistent if they urged Israel to stop persecuting Palestinians and Muslims because such policies endanger its allies.

Thanks to Adam Horowitz for much of this post.

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37 Responses

  1. Scott
    Scott on December 9, 2015, 2:37 pm

    Well, I just heard on MSNBC radio that Netanyahu has denounced Trump for bigotry. That’s the last straw for me, I’m abandoning him and supporting Hillary or Rubio.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on December 9, 2015, 3:05 pm

      Zionists don’t do logic, fact, or–most especially, irony.

  2. Scott
    Scott on December 9, 2015, 2:52 pm

    Clearly we have to take a second look at voting rights for white voters with high school ed.

    • john_manyjars
      john_manyjars on December 11, 2015, 1:41 am

      Dunno, some of the absolute worst racists/’staunch supporters of the only democracy in the Middle East’ I’ve come across, are also highly educated.

      When you do Radio Rwanda enough, the results are predictable.

  3. eljay
    eljay on December 9, 2015, 3:01 pm

    … Today, a Jew from any country can move to Israel, while a Palestinian refugee, with a valid claim to property in Israel, cannot…

    That’s because Israel is, among other things, a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” – a state primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews – and not a secular and democratic state of and for all of its Israeli citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

    • JWalters
      JWalters on December 9, 2015, 6:34 pm

      A state based on bigotry and its inevitable conflicts.

    • john_manyjars
      john_manyjars on December 11, 2015, 1:43 am

      Yet another argument for keeping any church the hell away from levers of power- though I fear that horse has left the barn in the USA.

  4. Scott
    Scott on December 9, 2015, 3:11 pm

    The fact that they (the white, uneducated Trump supporters) don’t understand that everyone in the world has a constitutional right to immigrate to America shows they don’t understand who we are as a country.

    • eljay
      eljay on December 9, 2015, 3:24 pm

      || Scott: The fact that they (the white, uneducated Trump supporters) don’t understand that everyone in the world has a constitutional right to immigrate to America shows they don’t understand who we are as a country. ||

      I’m white, not overly-uneducated and not a Trump supporter, but I don’t understand how non-Americans can have an American constitutional right to immigrate to America.

      • Scott
        Scott on December 9, 2015, 3:42 pm

        I was being sarcastic with all my 3 comments, my pathetic little resort when irritation gets the best of me. I’m a antiwar, pro justice in Palestine, skeptical about globalization conservative in general, and would back either Sanders or Trump, would prefer the non-bombastic Sanders.

      • eljay
        eljay on December 9, 2015, 6:19 pm

        || Scott: eljay,
        I was being sarcastic … ||

        Ah, sorry for missing that. :-)

  5. talknic
    talknic on December 9, 2015, 3:19 pm

    Ban Donald Trump from UK, say more than 250,000 Britons

    The British government responds to all petitions that gain more than 10,000 signatures, and topics are considered for parliamentary debate if they reach 100,000.

    Prime Minister David Cameron said through his spokeswoman on Tuesday that Trump’s comments were “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”.

  6. Boomer
    Boomer on December 9, 2015, 4:19 pm

    As Mr. Obama said, when marking the end of slavery in the U.S. 150 years ago, we should “remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others (except Palestinians and some others), regardless of where they come from, or what they look like, or what their last name is, or what faith they practice.”

  7. MHughes976
    MHughes976 on December 9, 2015, 5:10 pm

    The bbc is reporting the popularity of a Facebook ‘rant’ by a British soldier who lost his leg to a bomb planted by a Muslim in Iraq. He goes on to note that a Muslim comrade lost an arm on or near the same day, that the surgeon who operated on him was a Muslim and that Muslim nurses were in charge of his rehabilitation. There is still hope.

  8. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on December 9, 2015, 6:18 pm

    RE: “Israeli airport security officials routinely ask travelers what their religion is and often bar Muslims as a result. Last night, Chris Matthews was enraged by Trump’s recommendation that American immigration officials ask travelers if they are Muslim. But our own State Department has blasted Israel for denying “entry or exit without explanation”– notably to “those whom Israeli authorities suspect of being of Arab, Middle Eastern, or Muslim origin.” ~ Weiss

    SEE: “High Court: Explain why Israeli Arabs discriminated against by airport security” | By Tomer Zarchin | Haaretz | March 07, 2011

    [EXCERPT] The High Court of Justice on Monday ordered the Airports Authority and the Shin Bet security services to explain why security checks at Israel’s airports were being conducted in a discriminatory fashion.
    According to the petition, Israeli Arab passengers – even those who did not exhibit any suspicious behavior – are forced to undergo unusually thorough security checks.
    The court was responding to a petition filed by a human rights group in 2007 that claimed Israeli Arab citizens were being subjected to racial profiling at Israel’s airports. . .


    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson on December 9, 2015, 6:23 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “Racial profiling on Tel Aviv beaches: A shared U.S.-Israeli value?” | By Paul Karolyi | +972 Blog | August 07, 2012

      Politicians take every opportunity to tell us that the United States and Israel share values. It is those common ideals that bind us together in a “special relationship.” Rarely do they get specific about what those values are. Recent immigration reform laws passed in the United States and a discriminatory new regulation violating the rights of the Arab Palestinian minority in Israel together elucidate one shared value: suspicion.
      On April 23, 2010 Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona signed a package of new immigration reforms . . .
      . . . So it goes. “Reasonable suspicion” now joins “pursuit of happiness” and “freedom” in the pantheon of American values.
      In a far less publicized affair, Israel recently changed regulations for beach inspectors in a manner that mimics the Arizona immigration law. An article in Haaretz from August 5, 2012 describes a scene on Jerusalem Beach in Tel Aviv recently. The author, Roy Arad, was relaxing and enjoying the good weather when he saw a pair of beach inspectors asking a group of men for their identification cards. Arad was surprised, because these officials were formerly tasked only with the management of litter levels and the intimidation of scallywags.
      What Arad witnessed was the beach inspectors new responsibilities, which now include keeping an eye out for “suspicious characters” and turning them in to the police. It is important to note that the beach inspectors cannot make arrests, but only stop and demand ID from anyone they suspect is in the country illegally.
      Most of Israel’s famously beautiful public beaches are free to enjoy for everybody. But this new regulation authorizing beach inspectors to act as immigration agents makes the environment is much less hospitable.
      Any Palestinian citizen of Israel, along with asylum seekers from Africa, can be profiled by these untrained beach inspectors. This can lead to harassment for mere suspicion that the beachgoer is a Palestinian from the West Bank in Israel illegally, without a special permit. . .
      . . . Every citizen of Israel (though we mustn’t forget that even non-citizen Palestinians who are targeted on the beaches are natives to this land) should have the right to walk free of constant suspicion, just as America should be the land willing to take in “your huddled masses, yearning to break free.” In the case of the beaches of Tel Aviv, this is another case of discrimination against the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel, and it must stop. . .


  9. JWalters
    JWalters on December 9, 2015, 6:24 pm

    Excellent article. The entire spectrum of American public figures are like dogs on Israeli choke chains. Watching Morning Joe today, NOT ONE pundit is willing to credit Israel’s role in either starting or maintaining the cauldron in the Middle East. So they all concoct stories with Obama at the center. Yet he is tied down by the same Israeli ropes as they are. The hypocrisy is so over the top.

    Haven’t seen any mention of Kerry’s recent remarks on which you reported, inching things along.

  10. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson on December 9, 2015, 6:37 pm

    RE: “Sadly, Israeli profiling is already being offered as a model for American ports: ‘What’s so great about Israeli security? Profiling’.” ~ Weiss

    SEE: “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”
    | by Alex Kane | Mondoweiss | August 14, 2012

    [EXCERPTS] Security officers at Boston’s Logan International Airport have come under fire for the widespread racial profiling of Arabs, Muslims, Blacks and Hispanics in their zeal to ferret out terrorists.
    The ‘New York Times’ broke the story over the weekend after officers who requested anonymity came forward; some officers have complained internally to the Transportation Security Agency as well. A Massachusetts lawmaker has called for congressional hearings on the racial profiling allegations.
    The ‘Times’ reports that officers estimated that “80 percent” of passengers “searched during certain shifts” were people of color. What’s more, the Boston airport “is the testing ground for an expanded use of behavioral detection methods at airports around the country.”
    But what’s not touched on in the ‘Times’ report is the fact that Logan International’s security procedures are modeled on Israel’s policies at their own airport–policies that are blatantly racist. . .

    . . . The Israel connection is integral to understanding Boston’s racial profiling problems. In 2009, according to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jerusalem Post reported that “Boston’s Logan Airport has tapped the Israeli company New Age Security Solutions to help secure the facility using Behavior Pattern Recognition.” . . .
    . . . It took until August 2011 for the Israeli-inspired model to be operationalized. That was the date when the “behavioral profiling” became an official model at Boston’s airport–and this was “a direct result” of “Israeli influence” on security procedures at the airport
    , according to the Associated Press.
    Fast-forward to the New York Times story. The ‘Times’ reports that one anonymous TSA officer complained that this “behavior detection program is no longer a behavior-based program, but [rather] a racial profiling program.”
    To observers of how Israeli security works at Ben Gurion Airport, the allegations of racial profiling will come as no surprise. Palestinian and Arab travelers at Ben Gurion are guaranteed to be harassed by Israeli security. . .


  11. Boo
    Boo on December 10, 2015, 11:25 am

    “Additional Palestinian babies in Israel are considered ‘demographic threats’ by a state constantly battling to keep a Jewish majority.”

    There’s an easy out for that: simply return to the idol-worshiping ways of the Kings.

    ** Solomon (“Then Solomon built a high place for Moloch the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem” — 1 Kings 11:7)
    ** Manasseh (“And he burned his son as an offering” — 2 Kings 21:6)
    ** Ahaz (“He even made metal images for the Baals, and burned his sons as an offering” — 2 Chron. 28:2-3)

    And the tribe of Judah:

    ” They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Moloch” — Jeremiah 32:35

    But to avoid the taint of idol worship, simply feed Palestinian infants to the greedy belly of Moloch instead of Israelite ones. Bingo, no more demographic threat. Outrageous, you say? My response is simple: Ali Saad Dawabsheh.

  12. amigo
    amigo on December 10, 2015, 12:02 pm

    The US has Trump–the UK has Farage–Holland has Wilders — France has Le Pen and Israel has the Knesset (almost all) .

    Getting pretty crowded out there on the right wing.

  13. Citizen
    Citizen on December 10, 2015, 12:33 pm

    Trump cancels his December trip 2 Israel after Netanyahu disses his plan 4 temporary suspension of Muslims 2 access US. Pot, kettle black

  14. Herchel
    Herchel on December 10, 2015, 6:14 pm

    Did you see that MW article on the Jewish family that was turned away in Jordan because they were wearing kippahs?

    Didn’t think so.

    • gamal
      gamal on December 10, 2015, 8:23 pm

      I saw a kid with an air Jordan Yarmulke, and have a link to prove it, unlicensed kippot logos are apparently rampant, couldn’t find anything else.

      • annie
        annie on December 10, 2015, 8:40 pm

        i happen to know a thing or 2 about air jordans because my son collects tennis shoes.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on December 10, 2015, 8:52 pm

        I keep thinking Air Jordan is an airline.

    • annie
      annie on December 10, 2015, 8:51 pm

      Didn’t think so.

      jpost has not covered it either. shocking. nor the nyt or wapo. considering what a huge story this is will become — triple yawn.

    • eljay
      eljay on December 10, 2015, 9:03 pm

      || Herchel: Did you see that MW article on the Jewish family that was turned away in Jordan because they were wearing kippahs?

      Didn’t think so. ||

      1. Give us the name of your blog site so that we can go read the story there.

      2. Assuming your story is true and Jordan turned away a Jewish family for no other reason than they are Jewish, I condemn Jordan’s actions.

      3. But Jordan’s actions to not justify similar actions by Israel against non-Jews.

      4. And they certainly don’t justify the existence of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine.

      5. I look forward to your condemnation of Israel.

      6. Didn’t think so.

    • diasp0ra
      diasp0ra on December 10, 2015, 9:34 pm


      Oh no!

      They get a whole news story too! I’m almost tearing up!

      Meanwhile, literally millions of indigenous Palestinians are turned away from the border because they don’t wear kippahs :)

      You have time to read a few million articles?

      Israel is not a normal country, it is not in a normal relationship with its neighbors and it never will be. Colonizers will be treated as colonizers. You can try and spin it as if it’s some sort of inherent prejudice only because they were Jewish, but the reaction would have been the same had Zionists been Hindu.

      You want to erect an ethnocratic xenophobic supremacist society? Don’t expect people to welcome you in. If you only knew half of the things anyone going into Palestine suffers you’d get some perspective on how ridiculous your crying is.

    • talknic
      talknic on December 10, 2015, 11:15 pm

      @ Herchel ” … the Jewish family that was turned away in Jordan because they were wearing kippahs?”

      “they were told that it was not permitted to enter Jordan with “Jewish items.”

      I doubt it. It’s contrary to the Peace Treaty


      The Israeli embassy in Jordan is run by non-Jewish Israelis? AMAZING!!! I wonder if they know?

      Israel/Jordan Peace Treaty

      ARTICLE 9


      Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance

      ARTICLE 11


      to abstain from hostile or discriminatory propaganda against each other, and to take all possible legal and administrative measures to prevent the dissemination of such propaganda by any organisation or individual present in the territory of either Party;

      You’re not in Israel I hope

      ARTICLE 13

      Each party will permit the free movement of nationals and vehicles of the other into and within its territory according to the general rules applicable to nationals and vehicles of other states.


      ANNEX I (b)
      The Naharayim/Baqura Area

      Recognising that in the area which is under Jordan’s sovereignty with Israeli private land ownership rights and property interests (“land owners”) in the land comprising the area (“the land”) Jordan undertakes:

      to grant without charge unimpeded freedom of entry to, exit from land usage and movement within the area to the land-owners and to their invitees or employees and to allow the land-owners freely to dispose of their land in accordance with applicable Jordanian law;

      not to apply its customs or immigration legislation to land-owners, their invitees or employees crossing from Israel directly to the area for the purpose of gaining access to the land for agricultural or any agreed purposes;

      not to impose discriminatory taxes or charges with regard to the land or activities within the area;

      to take all necessary measures to protect and prevent harassment of or harm to any person entering the area under this Annex;

      to permit with the minimum of formality, uniformed officers of the Israeli police force access to the area for the purpose of investigating crime or dealing with other incidents solely involving the landowners, their invitees or employees.

    • john_manyjars
      john_manyjars on December 11, 2015, 1:53 am

      Can you blame them? ‘Settlers’ just finished torching a Palestinian baby, after all. Profiling of potential terrorists.

    • Marnie
      Marnie on December 13, 2015, 7:05 am

      Isn’t it awesome what happened in Jordan to this little kippah wearing Jewish triblet. Were they strip searched by any chance? Were their cell phones and cameras confiscated? Was their property damaged? Were they sent to a Jordanian prison while the Jordanians tried to figure out how to maximize their misery? OF COURSE NOT. That only happens to Palestinians, Palestinian Americans and anyone with an “Arab name” and it happens every damn day.

      I’m ecstatic that Israeli Jews had this experience! Maybe then their hearts will be open to what happens to their Palestinian neighbors all over Palestine and the occupied territories and they’ll realize that if its so terrible for a Jew to go through this experience, which is a cake walk compared to the trials Palestinians suffer, then it’s terrible for ALL.

      “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary”.

      “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

  15. Kris
    Kris on December 10, 2015, 7:41 pm

    What are you talking about, Herschel? Please share your information with the rest of the class.

    • annie
      annie on December 10, 2015, 8:44 pm

      times of israel reported it 2 hours ago. maybe herschel hounded them w/guilt and that’s why they published

      this is really cutting edge astounding news don’t you think?

      “The children said they were not interested; they felt that they were not wanted in Jordan as Jews, which is in fact what we all felt. That was the key point in this whole story,” she said.

      how very strange. especially considering so many palestinians are not allowed into israel from ben gurion — or other entry points.

      • gamal
        gamal on December 10, 2015, 9:10 pm

        Turned away from Jordan they were forced to holiday in Eilat, judging by the manner in which Israeli’s behave in the west bank I would guess that the border guards would look with a pretty jaundiced eye at Israeli’s sporting tefillin, as one Israeli mentioned in the article was reported to be doing on his way to Jordan and any overtly Jewish symbols with concern, they could well be nutters, and the Jordanians surely have a right to control their border, were they stripped, did any one demand their passwords seize their devices? anyone get one of those boys in a choke hold?

        is Eilat that bad?

      • Kris
        Kris on December 10, 2015, 10:16 pm

        Gosh, an Israeli Jewish family didn’t get to take a vacation in Jordan. Good for Jordan!

        Given the sadistic cruelty that Israeli Jews have been refining and demonstrating for the past 70+ years, Jordan is wise to protect its citizens, including the two million Palestinian refugees who are trying to exist in Jordan, from these people.

        Israeli Jews should not be allowed to enter any countries, anywhere, including the U.S., until Israel stops its slow motion holocaust against the Palestinians, ends the occupation, and gets the “settlers” off Palestinian land.

        When Israel routinely refuses to allow Palestinian students to leave Gaza in order to go and study at universities abroad that have awarded them scholarships, and is actively ethnically cleansing and murdering Palestinians every single day of every single year for 70+ years, why should Israeli Jews be welcomed anywhere?

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer on December 10, 2015, 10:35 pm


        Israel even denies students the rights to travle to Uni in the west bank. And US citizens from visiting Paelstine which js ‘t even lart of Israel..

        When Jordan decides where Israelis may go to within their own country then we will have a comparable situation.

        It would be nice if countries in the region would place nicely but in this while it seems wrong on the surface it does help to highlight the professional privileged whiners that Israelis have become.

      • john_manyjars
        john_manyjars on December 11, 2015, 1:57 am

        I flew on El Al from LAX to TLV one fine day- the questions I was asked at LAX were incredibly obnoxious- where did I go that morning, did I make any stops on the way to the airport, etc. I told them a fish story, utterly fabricating my whole journey’s route and even method of travel- hmm, they still let me on board the airplane.

        If I’m ever asked to go there again, I’m calling in sick.

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