From Pajamas Media
BREAKING: Obama Administration Denies Visas to Israeli Nuclear Scientists
The Obama administration is now denying U.S. visas to Israeli scientists who work at that nation’s Dimona nuclear reactor. This startling reversal of traditional policy was reported April 7, 2010, in the Israeli website/newspaper NRG/Maariv (link to the original Hebrew here and to an exclusive Pajamas Media translation here).
This could be yet another flashpoint in the increasingly sensitive relations between the administration, the American Jewish community, and Israel. The revelation in Maariv came only a day before the arrival in New York of Tariq Ramadan — controversial grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al Banna — whose visa was reportedly championed by Secretary of State Clinton. Yesterday as well, new rules disavowing the term “Islamic radicalism” were announced by Secretary of Defense Gates.
According to Maariv: “…. workers at the Dimona reactor who submitted VISA requests to visit the United States for ongoing university education in Physics, Chemistry and Nuclear Engineering — have all been rejected, specifically because of their association with the Dimona reactor. This is a new policy decision of the Obama administration, since there never used to be an issue with the reactor’s workers from study in the USA, and till recently, they received VISAs and studied in the USA.”
Israeli defense officials are stating these workers have no criminal records in the U.S. or Israel and have been singled out purely because of their place of employment. Moreover, nuclear materials for the Dimona reactor apparently do not come from the U.S. Zeev Alfasi — head of nuclear engineering at Israel’s Ben Gurion University — states that “the United States doesn’t sell anything nuclear-related to the Dimona reactor, and that means absolutely nothing. Radiation detectors, for example, have to be purchased now in France because the USA refuses to sell these to Israel.”
Pajamas Media contacted the U.S. Department of State concerning this new visa policy toward Israeli scientists. We were told by their press department that federal law prohibits them from discussing individual visa cases.