Israel cancels visit by Knesset delegation to US
Israeli Knesset Member Michael Ben Ari (shown) was denied entrance to the US because of his membership in an Israeli terrorist organization.
Mar 13, 2012
Israel has cancelled a planned visit by an Israeli Knesset delegation to the US in response to a move by Washington to deny entry to an Israeli lawmaker on the grounds of his membership in a “terrorist organization.”
Israeli Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin cancelled the delegation’s visit, saying that the US state Department’s refusal to grant entry to Michael Ben Ari of the National Union Party was an “an assault on the Knesset as a whole," adding that, "The United States’ allegation that an MK is a terrorist is unacceptable," according to a Ha’aretz report.
The delegation of Israeli lawmakers was scheduled to take part in a four-day conference on women hosted by the US Congress.
Ben-Ari was a follower of deceased Rabbi Meir Kahane whose political party was banned from the Knesset in 1988 and is considered a terrorist organization in the United States since 1994.
The US consular staff said Ben Ari's application was denied due to the State Department's regulations to ban terrorists from entering the country.