Likud Won’t Help on Visa Waiver

By Hamodia Staff

Senior Likud MK Yoav Kisch. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – The Likud party is refusing to cooperate with the coalition in passing a bill to facilitate Israel’s entry into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, on the grounds that it includes travel easements for Palestinian Americans.

A source close to senior Likud MK Yoav Kisch was quoted by The Times of Israel as saying that his party will not support the legislation, even if agreement is reached on the contentious issue of the date for elections.

The source claims that the law, drafted with input from Ayelet Shaked’s interior ministry, is problematic because it reduces pressure on Palestinian Americans who wish to go through Israel on their way to the Palestinian territories.

“We’re for [the Visa Waiver Program],” said the source, “but the law they want to bring, it’s just not a good law.”

On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides warned Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked that failure to pass the amendment would significantly delay the country’s  joining the waiver program, according to The Times.

“I’ve been working around the clock since I arrived to help Israel meet all the requirements to join” the program, Nides said on Twitter. “Don’t lose momentum now. This will help Israeli citizens travel to the US – put them first!”

Meanwhile, the Arab Joint List party hasn’t committed to helping the coalition pass the bill without opposition votes. “We haven’t decided [how to vote],” said a spokesperson for faction leader Ayman Odeh on Wednesday.

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