World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder on Wednesday welcomed the US government’s announcement that Israel has been accepted into the Visa Waiver Program.
“I commend and congratulate President Biden, Secretary Blinken, Secretary Mayorkas, and the entire Biden Administration for their leadership in pursuing what has long been recognized as a top bilateral priority. I also congratulate Israel and commend the following- subsequent governments and dedicated officials who have worked tirelessly for Israel’s acceptance,” Lauder said in a statement.
“Two years ago, President Biden publicly pledged that the US would help Israel ‘qualify’ to enter the program. Today, US officials announced that Israel will become the 41st country to join this coveted program. program. With its entry into the program, the VWP strengthens the security relationship between the US and Israel. “Access by all Israelis to the program later this year will undoubtedly strengthen the business relations, expanding interpersonal connections and developing intercultural understanding.”
“Jewish communities across the United States have important values at stake, and community leaders across the country are making their voices heard in support of Israel’s candidacy. As I said in July, with the signing in the Memorandum of Understanding of Ambassadors Michael Herzog and Thomas Nides, our schools, summer camps, sister city relations and other intercultural programs will benefit greatly, as will many families who have relatives in both countries, ” Lauder continued.
“Israel’s entry into the program also includes commitments to reciprocal privileges and equal treatment for all US passport holders, which is also important, and I urge others to recognize the scope of the commitments and changes that “it is implemented in Israel, as the US government has done its announcement today,” he concluded.
Previously, on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas presented the certificate of approval for Israel’s entry into the Visa Waiver Program.
It is estimated that the implementation of the process will take several weeks, and that in the month of November Israelis will be able to enter the United States without having to present a visa, as it is required to do until now.
Earlier in the week, Israel’s Foreign Ministry released a statement praising the waiver, which angered the US State Department for its earlier announcement.