US grills Israeli applicants for Green Card about IDF ‘war crimes’

The application now asks for in-depth details, looking for war crimes, with the threat of deportation hanging in the air.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The application for an American green card chance to become a permanent resident of the United States now contains in-depth questions on Israelis’ army service that amount to a hunt for war crimes, Ynet reported Thursday.

The news site revealed a letter sent by the U.S. Immigration Authority last week to a senior high-tech employee in Silicon value, Yuval, who said he felt “like the questions were copied from the Office of the Chief Prosecutor in the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”

The mandatory questions to answer included if Yuval had been in combat, if he had commanded soldiers, and if he had ever guarded or commanded others to guard detainees.

If the answer was “yes” to any question, then specifics regarding the circumstances were demanded.

The questions became very detailed regarding experience with explosives or even a weapon in the army.

For example, the affidavit asked which kind of explosives, how often he had used them, and what kind of weapons he’d trained on.

If he’d used “a weapon and/or an explosive against another person,” then he was asked to explain why he had done so.

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The letter threatened that if the Authority did not receive his affidavit “under oath” within 90 days, Yuval could expect to be deported.

Attorney Liam Schwartz, an expert in corporate immigration, told Ynet that the exhaustive questions were part of a new U.S. policy.

“An investigation that seeks explanations about how, when and why weapons and/or explosives were used against another person is intended to understand if you have committed war crimes,” he explained.

“A question regarding the custody of detainees is intended to ‘catch’ the military personnel and police officers who participated in the arrests in the West Bank.

“A demand for information regarding the active participation as a combatant in battles may also be used by the authorities for the purpose of formulating their position in relation to acts defined as genocide,” he added.

Schwartz called the policy “extremely worrisome.” He also noted that since Israeli law mandates maintaining confidentiality regarding certain military information, it may not pay for many to even try for the green card.

The trouble for Israelis may also now extend to prospective tourists.

One Israeli woman told the media outlet that she had applied for a tourist visa in an American embassy in Europe and underwent extensive questioning by an embassy official about her just-completed reserve army duty in Gaza.

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“In the end, the guy left the service window for about ten minutes, I could see he was talking passionately with someone else,” she said. “He returned, handed me my passport, and said ‘You are not eligible for a visa today’ and closed the window blinds.”