US Revokes Visas for Gaza Fulbright Students
Several weeks ago we posted on the efforts by Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) to get the State Department to screen the so-called Gaza Fulbright Scholars that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice had demanded Israel release them to come to visiting scholar programs here in the US. The effort was splashed over the front pages of mainstream media like the New York Times and on cable TV news stories. Today, Arutz Sheva Israel National News has this report indicating that four of the Gaza Fulbrights had their visas revoked and turned back. Doubtless, they were rejected because of connections to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups. We will bet that this story is 'buried in the Times" if it appears at all. So Bravo to Rep. Mark Kirk for taking the leadership on this effort, forcing the State Department and DHS to do the right thing and prevent four of these Gaza Fulbrights with terrorist backgrounds from entering the US.
(IsraelNN.com) The United States has revoked the visas of three Fulbright scholars from Gaza who received them in the face of Israeli resistance.
Visas for the three Hamas Authority scholars, as well as a fourth who was planning to go to the US under a different program, were revoked last week after “additional information” was received, according to State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos.
One of the four students was already in Dulles Airport outside Washington, D.C. when the decision was reached, forcing him to board another plane back to Jordan without ever having left Dulles Airport.
The Visiting Fulbright Scholar Program is funded by the U.S. Government and awards grants to foreign scholars to come to the United States to lecture or conduct postdoctoral research. Nearly 800 scholars come annually for an academic year or term.
The three were part of an original group of seven who were blocked by the Israeli government from leaving Gaza to travel to Jerusalem for interviews with US officials in May. At the time Israel cited security concerns.
“We decided that we needed to take a closer and harder look at them,” said Gallegos, adding that the revocation “does not preclude the applicants from reapplying for visas in the future.”
The State Department spokesman would not discuss the nature of the information that had prompted US officials to revoke the PA scholars’ visas after having gone to so much trouble to issue them...
Posted on 08/05/2008 9:01 AM by Jerry Gordon