Dear Secretary Blinken,
We, the undersigned U.S. citizens and residents, strongly urge the State Department to ban Israeli Minister Bezalel Smotrich from entering the United States. We demand the cancellation of his visa and his immediate denial of entry into the country.
As constituents and supporters of Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action), we believe that genocidal criminals have no place in our country. Smotrich’s presence should be unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
On February 26, 2023, armed Israeli settlers attacked the Palestinian villages of Hawara, Burin, Zaatara, and Asira al-Qibliya in a pre-planned raid. Now, Israeli media reports that the army knew of the intention of the settlers to attack Hawara and did nothing to stop them. Dozens of Israeli settlers rampaged through Palestinian towns on Sunday night, torching cars and homes, injuring more than 100 Palestinian civilians, and killing Sameh Aqtash in his home. Earlier that day, calls to descend on the villages were shared on social media networks. Prior to the attacks, Bezalel Smotrich "liked" a tweet posted by settler leader Davidi Ben Zion, who said the town of Huwara should be "erased." Given a chance to explain himself the next day, Smotrich doubled down, saying: "I think that the town of Hawara needs to be erased. The State of Israel needs to do it, and not, heaven forbid, private citizens.”
According to U.S. law, the State Department can deny visas to any individuals who incite violence against civilians. Furthermore, some human rights organizations believe that Smotrich has possibly committed the act of incitement to genocide, which also would prevent him from acquiring a U.S. visa under US law.
Mr. Secretary - we urge you to revoke Smotrich’s visa and ban him along with any other officials who incite violence from entering our country.
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