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Barring troublemakers from our shores

In an article published July 28, 1985, The New York Times railed about the United States’ denial of visas over the politics of foreigners.

Pablo Neruda, a well-known Latin-American poet, was barred from the United States in the mid-1960’s because he was a member of the Chilean Communist Party.

Many other prominent foreigners were denied visas under a 1952 American law providing for the exclusion of visitors, all for political reasons.

Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Fein, a political wing of the Irish Republican Army, was denied a visa.

The 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, known as the McCarran-Walter Act, was passed over the veto of President Truman. Section 212(a) permits the United States Government to exclude foreigners who have been members of or affiliated with communist, anarchist or terrorist organizations, or who advocate such doctrines.

Edmond-Charles Genet, popularly known as Citizen Genet, was a French Ambassador to the United States During the French Revolution. As a result of his actions, George Washington asked the French government to recall him. Eventually, Genet actually asked for asylum in the United States, which was granted.

Much of the talk in Israel, where we are currently visiting our daughter, Kaila, is not about daily missile and armed attacks on the Jewish State from Gaza, but rather on the decision by the Israeli government to bar U.S. Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting the country.

Initially, the Israeli government granted permission, but then withdrew it when it became evident that the Congresswomen were merely planning a publicity stunt in support of the Arab regimes and those in the United States who seek the destruction of the Jewish State through economic and boycott sanctions.

Does a country have the right to keep people out who are not citizens and who intend harm for the nation? The United States has always resoundingly answered that question with a strong “yes”. For some odd reason, however, the Israeli government is being beaten up and threatened by Democrats in Congress for keeping out two Congresswomen who are unapologetic in the lies they have fostered about the Jewish State.

The Congresswomen have invoked Nazi stereotypes against the Jewish people and shamelessly criticized the most democratic nation in the Middle East, while turning their backs on such atrocities as the stoning of a 13-year-old girl in Somalia who accused her attackers of rape. The Somali government said that the child was guilty of adultery. One thousand people watched in the stadium.

Of course, such Muslim terror takes place throughout the world whether it is Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, or a host of other places. Oddly, not a peep of protest from the Muslim Congresswomen. Instead, they falsely accuse the United States and Israel of behavior which is both unprovable and blatantly false.

One cannot help but walk about a city like Haifa and see a mixture of society unknown perhaps anywhere in the world, even the United States. It is one thing to read fake news, and another to believe fake truth. I took a walk on Shabbat around the Rambam Medical Center, one of the leading hospitals in the Middle East, and perhaps the world. It is an institution open to Christian, Jew, Muslim, Arab, Persian, Zoroastrian, Baihists, and other nationalities/religions too numerous to mention. I noticed an Arab family walking towards the adjacent beach right behind the Rambam Medical Center.

There was an Arab man walking with his two young sons and a teenage girl. The teenage girl had her head covered, but was wearing jeans. Perhaps 10 or 20 paces behind the father and the three children was the Arab wife, who was completely covered in black, head to foot, with only her eye slits showing. As the family walked towards the beach, I noted not far away a number of Hasidic Lubavitcher Jews sitting on park benches, along with secular families and those wearing crosses around their necks.

There were no police, and there was no need for any surveillance. These people live together, without violence, in a way that is difficult for Americans and Europeans to comprehend. No mass shootings and very few racial or religious incidents of any consequence. Haifa is a city at peace, host to one of the greatest collections of mixed populations in the world. It is true that Israel faces every day potential genocide from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and through Iran’s Hezbollah soldiers in the north. However, within the country, there is peace.

This raises the interesting question as to what the American Congresswoman have in mind for the Jewish State?

What they would really like to see is another terrorist regime on the West Bank of the Jordan River, like the enclave in Gaza and Hezbollah in the north. Such an equation would, of course, mean the destruction of the Jewish State, which would then only be four (4) miles wide at its narrowest point.

Israel not only has every right to bar its enemies from entering the land, but in fact has a responsibility so to do.

The one Congresswoman who said she wanted to visit her grandmother, apparently did not think it was that important when she was told specifically that she would have to refrain from boycott divest and sanction activities during her visit.

What right does this foreigner have to come to another country to advance positions inimical to that country’s survival?

The quick answer is that she has no such right. She had no interest in visiting her grandmother, but rather in advancing the cause of the destruction of the Jewish State. Israel, as a loyal and dedicated American, I say you have done the right thing! Yasher koach!

Cliff Rieders is a Williamsport-based attorney.

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