TEL AVIV – Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi claimed she was denied a visa to enter the U.S., citing her support for non-violent resistance as a possible reason.
“It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given,” she wrote on Twitter.
1/It is official! My US visa application has been rejected. No reason given. Choose any of the following: I’m over 70 & a grandmother; I’ve been an activist for Palestine since the late 1960’s; I’ve always been an ardent supporter of nonviolent resistance;
— Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) May 13, 2019
“I’m over 70 and a grandmother; I’ve been an activist for Palestine since the late 1960’s; I’ve always been an ardent supporter of nonviolent resistance,” she added in the first of a seven-part tweet.
Ashrawi said that even though she studied for her PhD in the U.S. and had grandchildren who lived there, she would not be able to visit them.
“I’ve met … every Secretary of State since [George] Shultz and every President since George H.W. Bush,” she wrote, adding a caveat that she had excluded the current Trump administration from her list.
“I have no tolerance for the Israeli occupation in all its manifestations as a most pervasive form of oppression, dispossession & denial,” she continued, adding that “I have no respect for the enablers of this inhuman condition.”
After a lengthy diatribe on her character, in which she wrote that she “struggled for human rights and against corruption,” Ashrawi concluded, “I’m guilty of all of the above, & as such this administration has decided I do not deserve to set foot in the US.”
Ashrawi, a longtime member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, served as late PLO leader Yasser Arafat’s deputy.
She has called Israel the “most racist, violent government in world history.”
Ashrawi lambasted the Israeli electorate after the April 9 national elections, saying that it favored candidates who were “unequivocally committed to entrenching the status quo of oppression, occupation, annexation and dispossession in Palestine and escalating the assault on Palestinian national and human rights.”
The Israeli public, she continued, has “chosen an overwhelmingly right-wing, xenophobic and anti-Palestinian parliament to represent them. Israelis chose to entrench and expand apartheid.”
The State Department would not confirm that Ashrawi’s visa had been rejected, saying only that “visa records are confidential under US law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases.”
“US law does not authorize the refusal of visas based solely on political statements or views if those statements or views would be lawful in the United States,” a statement said. “Visas may be denied only on grounds set out in US law.”