A visa service for the US State Department and used by US embassies and consulates worldwide decided it is better to offend Israelis by pretending Israel doesn’t exist than to offend Palestinians by saying Israel does exist.
The official US Visa Service for foreign citizens website appears to have been outsourced by the US government to another firm.
It really is the official US visa site, though, and a number of US embassy and consulate webpages point there. The page for Chile explicitly states that it is “the only authorized website for the payment of visa fees.”
The site is run by Yatri, “The Official Visa Information and Appointment system for the Embassy of the United States in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,” as described on the site.
The reason this is interesting is clear once you look at the list of countries on the site.
Some of the entries don’t have flags associated with them.
Two aren’t even a country, but two cities have no link to any country.
Tel Aviv and Jerusalem both appear on the site as not listed under any country.
It is deeply offensive to Israeli citizens and, frankly, to fair-minded individuals everywhere, that the US does not identify Jerusalem or Tel Aviv as part of Israel.
Is the US State Department that afraid of offending Arabs and Israel-haters that it cannot even mention the name Israel? Or is this a plain case of anti-Semitism?
When you click through to either the Tel Aviv or Jerusalem links, both take you to the same page – a page that again cannot say the word “Israel.”
It is true that the US consulate in Jerusalem is mainly concerned with Palestinian Arab affairs. But it is more offensive to eliminate Israel altogether than it would be for the site to say “Israel and the Palestinian territories.”
But if Israel would be mentioned then the implication here is that Palestinian Arabs would be far more upset than Israelis would be for pretending Israel doesn’t exist. So this site used by the US embassies and consulates worldwide decided it is better to offend Israelis by pretending it doesn’t exist than to offend Palestinians by saying Israel does exist.
This is also apparently the logic behind not putting a flag for Cyprus. Sure it offends Cypriots, but when Turkish people get upset, perhaps they get far more upset. Better to eliminate the flag rather than risk the wrath of the Turks.
This website is a perfect example of Western dhimmitude — so sensitive to the possibility of upsetting Muslims that it pro-actively offends non-Muslims to head off even the slightest chance of ugliness.
By: United with Israel Staff. With files from The Algemeiner.