US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides
US Ambassador to Israel Thomas NidesOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides continues to work so that Israel is added to the Visa Waiver Program, thus abolishing the need for Israelis to require visas in order to enter the United States.

The move has been delayed due to the dispersal of the Knesset and the opposition's lack of agreement to approve the laws required for the move to be implemented.

“I want to do this for the Israeli people. I’ve got a passport, I’ve got a visa, I don’t need it. So I’m working day and night to get this done,” Nides told Channel 13 News in an interview on Wednesday. “We’ll get there. I’m confident we’ll get there.”

He said that the legislation that would allow Israel to be added to the Visa Waiver Program would need to be passed by the Knesset by early next year. “I’d like to get it done as soon as possible because I do not want to run out of time.”

The US, said Nides, sees a real need to implement the two-state solution. "Nothing is a substitute for peace. It is important that, number one, that we push forward with an idea, making sure it’s ’67 borders with land swaps and the two-state solution. Our articulation of that has been very clear.”

On the nuclear deal with Iran, the US Ambassador said, “Number one, obviously we’d like a diplomatic solution to this crisis. Number two, we are not going to stand by and let the Iranians obtain a nuclear weapon. Number three, we have Israel’s back.”

Asked if the US has a plan B if Iran does not return to the deal within a few weeks, Nides replied, “Every option is on the table, as President Biden said.”