A recent executive order by the White House temporarily banning entry to the U.S. to people from seven Muslim-majority countries has drawn attention to the discriminatory practices of these nations against holders of Israeli passports, with the matter being discussed at the UK parliament in regard to dual British-Israeli citizens.
At a session of the British parliament on Monday, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was asked about the treatment of Israelis by these countries.
Johnson’s response highlighted that the United Kingdom was “aware” that some countries unfairly ban Israelis from entering them.
“I think it’s right that the [House of Commons] should be aware of that discrimination, of that ban that already exists,” Johnson said.
In what can be seen as a defense of the executive order and a reflection of the sentiment that made Britons vote for exiting from the European Union last summer, Johnson added that, by definition, the visa policies of any country are discriminatory.
“And, by the way, the house should also reflect on the fact that all immigration policies, all visa policies, are by their very nature discriminatory, as between individuals and indeed as between nations,” he said.
An image that went viral on social media shows that no less than 16 countries around the world prohibit entry to Israeli passport holders.
Six of the seven countries included in the executive order are in the group.
The image includes the flags of Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, all of which ban entry to Israelis.
Israel has no blanket ban on the entry of the citizens of any country, but requires visas for citizens of countries with which it is officially in a state of war or with which it has no diplomatic relations.
In some cases, including all countries banning entry to Israelis and the countries mentioned in U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order, a special Foreign Ministry-issued visa is required.