Nearly ten percent of the approximately 125,000 Israeli requests for tourist visas to enter the United States in 2013 were rejected, according to a State Department figures published, Monday-morning by the Yediot Ahronot daily. The percentage represents a nearly 80-percent increase in rejections from 2012 and almost four times the percent in 2007.
The increase is keeping Israel off the "white list" of countries whose residents don't need a visa. To qualify, the rejection level must be below three percent. A source in the consular section of the Foreign Ministry claimed that the rejections are political in nature to prevent Israel from the white list because the Jewish state qualifies according to all the other criteria.