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The politics behind the visa denial for veteran Palestinian official

The State Department denied veteran Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi an entry visa, provoking outcry among diplomats and activists.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) executive committe member, Hanan Ashrawi arrives for a press conference on February 24, 2015 in the West Bank city of Ramallah, a day after a verdict of a New York court was issued finding the Palestinian leadership responsible for six deadly attacks in Jerusalem that killed Americans. In a verdict issued late on February 23, a US jury found the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and the PLO responsible for six attacks which killed 33 people and wounded more tha

The US State Department denied Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi an entry visa May 13. A State Department official told the Associated Press that the United States "does not refuse visas based solely on people’s political views or statements,” but Ashrawi and others believe the visa denial is a blatantly political act.

One can’t help but recall the words of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who, speaking to students at Texas A&M University on April 15, said, “I was a CIA director, we lied, we cheated we stole … we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.” Though Pompeo was referring to the actions of the CIA, the State Department may be engaged in similar tactics when it says that the denial of Ashrawi's visa was not a political act.

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