A number of Conservative MPs highlighted the fact that 16 nations currently forbid admission to Israeli passport holders, in questions to the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during a House of Commons statement on US Immigration Policy.
The Foreign Secretary’s statement came in response to an executive order by President Trump which bars citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for a period of 90 days. President Trump’s executive order also suspends the US’s refugee system for a period of 120 days.
Will Quince MP, Nigel Adams MP, and Robert Jenrick MP brought attention to the fact that 16 countries have forbidden the entry of all Israeli citizens.
The sixteen countries to forbid admission to Israeli passport holders are: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen. All are Muslim-majority nations.
CFI Officer Will Quince MP condemned President Trump’s executive order as “misguided and wrong”. However, he said: “16 countries currently forbid admission to Israeli passport holders… does my Rt. Hon. Friend agree that we should be consistent in our condemnation?”.
Foreign Secretary Johnson said in his response: “I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for raising a point about which many Members of the House would have been ignorant until this afternoon. There we go. Opposition Members knew it. In that case, why did they keep silent?”
Mr Quince added in the emergency debate that followed that people could be consistent in their criticism: “16 countries forbid admission to Israeli passport holders. In recent years, we have granted state visits to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, all of whom forbid admission to Israeli passport holders. If we genuinely believe that banning individuals on the basis of their nationality is wrong—I very much hope we do believe it—then let us condemn these policies wherever they raise their ugly heads”.
Nigel Adams MP asked the Foreign Secretary: “Seven countries are on President Trump’s list—their citizens are banned from entering the US for a period of 90 days. Every one of those countries bans Israeli passport holders from entering their country. Has the Foreign Secretary had any representations from dual British-Israeli citizens regarding that immigration policy, which is similarly divisive, discriminatory and wrong?”
Foreign Secretary Johnson replied stating: “I had alluded to it in an elliptical way, but it is right that the House should be aware of that discrimination and the ban that exists. By the way, the House should reflect on the fact that all immigration and visa policies are by their nature discriminatory as between individuals and nations”.
In the emergency debate that followed the statement, Robert Jenrick MP asked Ed Miliband MP, who led the debate: “I do not wish to diminish the topic that we are discussing, but my wife, who is a British citizen, was born in Israel. She will not be able to travel to Malaysia, where many people in this country go on holiday, and she will not be able to travel to 17 countries in and around the Middle East. If the Rt. Hon. Gentleman cares so passionately about this—and I do not dispute that he does—what does he intend to do about that?”
Click here to read the exchanges.