TEL AVIV – A new provision in the Defense Appropriations Bill will prevent prejudice against American Jews with family in Israel after it emerged that this was the cause of security clearances being denied by the U.S. Navy, the Jerusalem Post reported.
In December, several Jewish organizations protested the case of Dr. Gershon Pincus, who was denied security clearance after being hired by a naval clinic in Saratoga Springs on the basis that his mother and siblings live in Israel. The Navy said that this represented a security concern due to “divided loyalties.”
According to Dr. Pincus’s lawyer, Avi Schick, there are dozens of similar cases and the number of denials for people with family in Israel exceeds the number of those for people with family members elsewhere.
The Post reported that the proposed change in the Fiscal Year 2017 bill stipulates that the secretary of defense, in coordination with the director of National Intelligence, will need to submit a report detailing the number of clearance denials along with a list of the countries they are tied to, as well as the number of times each country was cited as the cause for denial.
“My amendment will make the process for security clearance eligibility more transparent without jeopardizing any aspect of our national security,” Rep. Steve Israel said in a statement.
“We need to better understand why so many applicants with ties to an important ally like Israel have been denied in recent years,” he added.