Free UK Entry for Illegals Only

by craig on May 17, 2013 7:38 am in Uncategorized

I am furious to learn that Israeli settlers resident illegally in the occupied territories are allowed visa free entry to the UK, whereas Palestinians living legally in those territories require a visa (and won’t usually get one).

From Hansard
Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territories require a visa before travelling to the United Kingdom, but Israeli citizens living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories do not require a visa to come to the United Kingdom for six months or less.[HL59]
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration has been given to changing immigration rules to restrict access to the United Kingdom by all Israeli citizens who live in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.[HL60]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach):

Visa regimes are based on nationality, not place of residence. Palestinians are required to obtain a visa before travelling to the United Kingdom. Israeli citizens, regardless of where they reside, are able to visit the United Kingdom visa free for up to six months.
No consideration has been given to changing the Immigration Rules to restrict access to the United Kingdom by Israeli citizens who live in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Visa regimes are kept under regular review.

In immigration cases, evidence of continuing engagement in illegal activity should normally lead to denial of entry to the UK. That is the supposed general policy. The Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, a fact not in serious dispute even by arch-Zionists Hague and May. On top of which, Israeli settlers should be denied entry because they have demonstrated a clear propensity to settle where it is illegal for them to settle. That plainly gives reasonable grounds to suppose that they will not leave the UK at then end of their visa validity.

90% of West Bank Palestinians refused a visa, are refused on the grounds that they may seek to remain and live illegally in the UK – despite the fact they have never lived illegally anywhere. Illegal Israeli settlers, on the other hand, can waltz into the UK without a visa.

It is hard to imagine a more stark double standard and abuse of power.

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  1. Excellent point Mr Murray,

  2. Well exposed.
    Thing is, mother of Zion cares little about the law when it comes to crimes against the Palestinians. Didn’t the UK throw out legislation relating to Zionist crimes in the ‘Cast Lead’ murder romp?

    I wonder if the govt could be taken to court over this?

  3. Whilst I sympathise with your standpoint, Craig, this particular argument is not terribly convincing. Palestinians are at risk of defaulting on their visas because life in the OTs for them is hell. Israelis settling in the OTs have made an ideological-based decision to break international law by doing so, and are thus likely to return.

    The true injustice is less to do with the UKs visa arrangements and more to do with the fact that Israel is an apartheid state born on the back of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, which has repeatedly flouted international law for decades. Polemical pot shots are not required to prove that.

  4. A startling observation. I really shouldn’t be surprised given our government’s form on all matters around the occupation, and yet I find I am.

    I wonder how long we’ll be waiting for the BBC or any of the national papers to acknowledge this.

  5. “stark double standard and abuse of power.” – C’est la Israel.

  6. Geoff

    “I really shouldn’t be surprised given our government’s form on all matters around the occupation, and yet I find I am.”

    Well put – exactly how I feel.

  7. April Showers

    17 May, 2013 - 8:54 am

    There is different treatment for Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs at Ben Gurion (formerly Lodd) airport too.


    This coming Saturday, there is a vigil outside parliament to remember al Nakba. 11am – 1pm

  8. April Showers

    17 May, 2013 - 8:55 am

    ‘and Arabs’ should have been deleted above.

  9. doug scorgie

    17 May, 2013 - 9:01 am

    Craig, if you go to the Border Agency website you can fill in the “Do you need a Visa ?” questionnaire.

    The guidelines for question number 3; Where do you currently live?

    Where do you currently live?

    You must be living legally in the country that you select.

    You cannot apply for a UK visa from a country where you are not living legally.

    How do the square that circle?

  10. ALL Israelis need a visa to enter the USA, at present. But there are moves afoot to change the balance…in whose favour, I do not hear you ask?

    Yakoub certainly has a point. But why not apply the same rules to all, impartially?

  11. Doug

    “You cannot apply for a UK visa from a country where you are not living legally.”

    Precisely – they get round that by saying they don’t need a visa.

  12. April Showers

    17 May, 2013 - 9:08 am

    Lord Warner raised this matter previously when Taylor was a Whip.

    House of Lords

    15 Oct 2012

    To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 11 June 2012 (WA 204), whether they regard as valid travel documents for entry to the United Kingdom passports held by Israelis who have illegally settled on land in the West Bank; and whether such people meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules.

    Hansard source (Citation: HL Deb, 15 October 2012, c445W)

    Lord Taylor of Holbeach (Whip, House of Lords; Conservative)

    The Government recognise travel documents issued by the State of Israel. The issuance of Israeli passports is a matter for the Israeli authorities. Whether specific individuals meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules will depend on all the circumstances of a particular case.

    PS As a keen gardener, in the future I will not buy any bulbs from Taylors of Spalding, Lord Taylor’s family business, and will tell friends and others accordingly.

  13. Craig, agree with all that you say and the very good question asked by Lord Warner. But disagree with your conclusion “It is hard to imagine a more stark double standard and abuse of power.”

    It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to note HMG’s collective double standards or abuse of power. In fact the record speaks for itself loud and clear, that no imagination whatsoever, only actual observation, is required. Blair’s legacy of the UK turning itself into an obliging poodle of the US of A continues eagerly to slurp the blood-and-oil policies that flow from the bloodied “White House”.

    Of course Imperial Britain was no better. Point is there is nothing new about these double standards and the cost of injustice, but yes it is disappointing to see that for all her depth and culture, and world governing experience, Britain remains an immature country with a deeply flawed foreign policy.

    Please see image here :

    No student of history, I’d quite like to learn why Palestine is not part of the Commonwealth. Was it their choice?

  14. April Showers

    17 May, 2013 - 9:23 am

    Many US and UK based Israelis have dual passports plus 100,000 Germans according to this.
    June 5, 2011

    Israeli rush to secure dual nationality
    By Tobias Buck in Jerusalem

    As many as 100,000 citizens of Israel also carry a German passport, according to a survey that sheds light on the continuing demand among Israelis, especially of the younger generation, for a second nationality.

    The latest data, revealed by an Israeli periodical last week, has rekindled debate on some of the most sensitive – and longest-running – controversies facing the Jewish state and its citizens.

    On this topic
    Israelis demonstrate against spending cuts
    Lapid gets to grips with Israel’s finance
    US in multibillion arms sale to Israel
    Israel eyes gas exports to neighbours

    IN Middle East & North Africa
    Qatar bankrolls Syrian revolt with cash and arms
    Blow to rebels as Syrian regime retakes strategic town in Deraa
    Islamic groups battle to shape Egypt
    Tunisia cracks down on Ansar al-sharia

    Most Israeli commentators agree that the clamour for German passports is, above all, a sign of the dramatic improvement in relations between the two countries. Others, however, interpret the findings as evidence that Israelis are unsure about their future and see a second passport as a form of insurance against threats to the state of Israel.

    There are no reliable figures on how many Israelis carry a second passport, though the number is certain to be considerable: according to a poll conducted by the Menachem Begin Heritage Centre in 2008, more than 30 per cent of Israelis said they had either applied for a second nationality or were planning to do so. Many have the option of obtaining a second passport because their ancestors hail from countries, especially in Europe, that offer citizenship to later generations.

    Having a European passport allows Israelis to settle, work and study more easily in EU member states. They also face shorter queues when flying to European airports – a factor cited repeatedly by citizens with dual nationality.

    According to research by Israel’s Eretz Acheret magazine, the demand for German passports far outstrips that for other European countries. It claims that Poland, Romania and Austria – which also had large Jewish populations before the Holocaust – issued 5,000-6,000 passports to Israelis over the past 10 years. Germany, in contrast, hands out about 7,000 passports every year in Israel, though not all are issued for the first time.

    Shimon Stein, who served as ambassador to Germany from 2001 to 2007, said such identification with the country that planned the Holocaust would have been “unthinkable 30 years ago”. He added: “The younger generation of Israelis sees [the relationship with Germany] a bit more relaxed. For them, it is almost just another country in Europe.”

    Mr Stein dismissed claims that the demand for second passports – from Germany or elsewhere – suggested a lack of confidence in Israel’s future. “The overwhelming majority of Israelis are happy and pleased with the current state and do not consider leaving the country,” he said.

    Yet other Israeli analysts were more cautious. Tom Segev, a Jerusalem-based historian who has written widely about Israel, Zionism and the Holocaust, said: “This does reflect a certain degree of uncertainty. Nobody wants to go back and live in Lodz [a Polish city with a large pre-war Jewish community], but people feel it’s good to have a European passport – just in case.”

    Writing in the Haaretz newspaper, Gideon Levy said: “Israel is strong and established and ostensibly its passport should be sufficient for its citizens.

    “The fact that it is not sufficient for many of them testifies, more than a thousand passports, that something has gone deeply wrong here.”

  15. willyrobinson

    17 May, 2013 - 9:26 am

    ‘In immigration cases, evidence of continuing engagement in illegal activity should normally lead to denial of entry to the UK’

    Not sure about this. Is it useful to say: ‘your house is illegal, therefore you’re a criminal for living in it?’. Settlements are very problematic, but calling all settlers law-breakers is going a bit too far.

  16. “Settlements are very problematic”

    Why so? Why do they need to be there at all?

    Confusion breeds confusion.

  17. Wiilyrobinson –

    Tried to put up a tent on the lawn at Sandringham lately?

  18. April, doesn’t your dual-nationality issue confuse the discussion? I’m missing the connection.

  19. Very well put Komodo.

    Also, Willy, are you talking factually or theoretically? Do you live in an illegal house? What about due diligence? Or does one absolve one’s self of all responsibility?

  20. Willy

    I think the Israeli settlers are criminals, and know very well what they are doing – fanatics endangering the entire peace of the region.

  21. On the same page of parliamentary business, The Gambia caught my eye, which in turn reminded me of this beautiful piece called Sunrise in Gambia. Craig, you might want to add this to your collection — it is a ‘happy’ one, very uplifting. Sorry its o/t but worth the risk in these depressing times. Hope the computer behaving itself now.

  22. Elizabeth Morley

    17 May, 2013 - 10:42 am

    Yakoub, you say “Palestinians are at risk of defaulting on their visas because life in the OTs for them is hell.” While that is no doubt the Home Office’s rationale, many Palestinians would be insulted by the suggestion that they would rather seek asylum than return to continue the struggle to regain their freedom in their own land. Be that as it may, given that the UK is responsible for stealing their homeland in the first place and ensuring that they remain in limbo as stateless persons (for how much longer?), is it not an outrage that we should privilege those to whom we gave away the stolen land?

  23. Justin Goldsworthy

    17 May, 2013 - 12:04 pm

    I wish articles like this would make main stream media,the general public would be outraged if they knew the facts,one day it will happen and it wont be a moment to soon.

  24. willyrobinson

    17 May, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    @Villager, Komodo, Craig – It can’t be useful to criminalise everybody the far side of the Green Line.

    People who go about trying to create facts on the ground – as Craig said, they know what they’re doing. But we’re talking about what? hundreds of thousands of people? and many living where they do for economic reasons. I think Craig’s taking this argument too far (but it’s his blog).

  25. willyrobinson

    17 May, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    Look at it this way. Craig says ‘Israeli settlers are criminals’. Fine. What if you used to live in a settlement and you moved back, say, to Tel Aviv. Are you no longer a criminal?

    If you are, then God help us. If you’re not, then it’s a pretty strange and unique situation, eh?

  26. doug scorgie

    17 May, 2013 - 1:01 pm

    Travel to Israel

    British nationals of Palestinian origin

    “If you are a British national of Palestinian origin (on the Palestinian Population Register or holding a Palestinian ID number), you will need a Palestinian passport or travel document in order to leave.

    If you are a British national with a Palestinian name or place of birth but without a Palestinian ID number, you may face problems.

    A number of British nationals of Palestinian origin or British nationals married to Palestinians have been refused entry to the country.”

    Rather confusing but I presume that if you are British by birth but married to a British national of Palestinian origin you cannot use your British passport to travel to Israel or the West Bank. In other words you can’t go there.

  27. A penetrating exposure by Craig that has recently become acutely immoral even indictable under international law as constituting a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings, also considering Palestine has ‘NON-MEMBER OBSERVER STATE’ status in the United Nations:

    (138 in favour to 9 against*) *Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Panama, Palau, United States.

    I would encourage anyone with strength in international law to prepare a test case forthwith; such pressure on Israel by Britain is imperative.

  28. It can’t be useful to criminalise everybody the far side of the Green Line.

    Depends whose utility is concerned, doesn’t it? Is it useful, either, to legitimise a systematic breach of international law by simply asserting the law is an ass? Wouldn’t work for you in a squat, would it? Or how about evicting someone on whom you have no legal claim, knocking down his house, and then building your own and living in it, while shooting at the neighbours? Try it. Let me know how you get on.

    For immigration purposes, though, all Palestinians are suspect and all Israelis are upright citizens. Not even the OT prophets would buy that one….not a very different argument, either.

  29. doug scorgie

    17 May, 2013 - 2:07 pm

    17 May, 2013 – 12:54 pm

    “Look at it this way. Craig says ‘Israeli settlers are criminals’. Fine. What if you used to live in a settlement and you moved back, say, to Tel Aviv. Are you no longer a criminal?”

    Silly Willy. If you are a trespasser and you leave you are no longer a trespasser.

  30. “Rather confusing but I presume that if you are British by birth but married to a British national of Palestinian origin you cannot use your British passport to travel to Israel or the West Bank. In other words you can’t go there.”

    It is even worse if you are British, married to a non-European abroad, living in a war-torn region and have savings of less than £62,000 as this lady wrote in response to an article of mine.

    “There are bomb blasts almost every day, and I desperately want to come back but I cannot, because I cannot bear to stay apart from my husband for a year.”

  31. 22-5-2013

    Save Legal Aid – Justice for Sale – Mass Rally and Demonstration.

    Presented by: Clive Stafford Smith, Gerry Conlan (Guildford 4), Family Member of Jean Charles De Menzes, Dave Rowntree and Breda Power (daughter of Billy Power of Birmingham 6)

  32. Good research, Doug — thank you!

  33. Wow, I was surprised. Mexicans don’t even need a visa for up to 6 months in the UK. Is there a large Palestinian population in the UK?

  34. UK citizen had wonderful holiday in Israel –
    . . .

    Israeli citizens are is entitled to VIP treatment because they are special and Palestinians are not. What makes them special? No other ‘people’, we are often reminded, has ever suffered so much for so long. The moral calculus implied by this idea is puzzling.

    When I was growing up, I watched a lot of war movies on TV. WWII was all about handsome, muscular Americans saving Europe by fighting Germans with nothing more than pissy M1 carbines, a cheeky disregard for authority and a love of chewing gum and beautiful girls. Ten years later, WWII was all about cheerless Nazis gassing and incinerating seven million Jews. The transformation went almost unnoticed.

    Today, we accept Israel flouting all sorts of laws and standards of decency because we are made to feel guilty for OUR repeated moral failures that resulted in THEIR aggregated history of suffering. The collective guilt trip, supported by a culture of thought-terminating political correctness, ensures that criticism of Israel and diasporic activities is mostly squelched in the mainstream media and public discussions. However, as things get worse for the Palestinians, and as it slowly dawns on people that Israel is actually implementing its own one-state, apartheid solution, the tide is starting to turn.

    (Three cheers for Prof. Stephen Hawking.)

  35. To quote David Cameron “There is something deep in our Party’s DNA that believes in Israel”. Its easy to understand why.

  36. The reason for letting some nationalities in without a visa, but not others, is purely economic. Basically First world citizens are allowed, Third world not. So we need to ask: who is responsible for Palestinians being poor? At present it is easy enough to blame the Israelis. No doubt they would reply that the situation is due to terrorism. However I would say that creating a prosperous Palestinian community is essential for Israel’s security, because terrorism usually feeds on grievance.

  37. Another reason to be careful about granting entry to Israelis is their history of assassinations. Sometimes using British passports. The UK actually changed it’s domestic law to allow Israeli war criminals to enter without fear of arrest. That’s how perverted the UK-Israel relationship is. All small beer of course compared to the body bags that came back from Iraq, British soldiers dying and killing for “world” (Israeli) security. All thanks to Friends of Israel in the UK.

  38. Don’t forget that Palestinians also need permission from the Zionists to travel outside of the Occupied Territories, which have been deprived of an international airport since 2000, when the one in Gaza got destroyed by Zionist bombers.

    Have a look at the British Foreign Office advice to UK citizens travelling to “Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories”. It could have been written by Israeli propagandists. The Brits are obviously too scared to say anything the Israelis don’t like.

    1) “The FCO advise against all travel to Gaza. There remains a risk of rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel and Israeli air strikes on Gaza.”

    Note the dishonesty with which they prioritise mentioning “rocket attacks from Gaza”. Note the irregular verb too: Arabs “attack”; Jews “strike”.

    2) “Don’t attempt to enter Gaza by sea, breaching the restrictions imposed by the Israeli navy. The FCO advise against participating in flotillas or overland convoys to Gaza because of the risks involved.

    “The risks involved” aren’t specified. They mean, of course, the risk of illegal acts of war committed by the Zionists against unarmed civilian vessels on the high seas, or unarmed civilians elsewhere.

    3) “Be extra vigilant when travelling anywhere in the West Bank, particularly in areas close to refugee camps, in and around Israeli settlements across the West Bank and in the cities of Jenin, Nablus and Hebron. An Israeli national was killed in the Northern West Bank, near the city of Nablus on 30 April. There are reports of clashes in and around the West Bank

    So an Israeli, presumably an illegal settler, got killed on the West Bank 3 weeks ago. How many Arabs have been killed on the West Bank since then? And as for “reports of clashes”!

    4) “Stay alert in and around the Old City in Jerusalem

    This is reasonable advice, but it dodges the issue of whether East Jerusalem, which contains the Old City, is located in “Israel” or the “Occupied Territories” from an FCO point of view.

    Actually, of course, no part of Jerusalem, nor indeed of the larger area containing that city, is recognised by the UK as being part of Israel de jure. I repeat: the UK does not recognise Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, East or West. In fact there is not even full recognition of the Zionist de facto role in West Jerusalem. That’s why the British Consulate-General, which is not a mission to Israel, plays a practical role in the whole of the city.

    Not that anyone would know that, from reading the ‘British’ press or the FCO website.

  39. Haaretz has this today

    “Israel effectively barring tourists from West Bank by neglecting to explain mandatory permit”

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