Report: 116 Israelis granted asylum in U.S.

A new report by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services revealed that over the past seven years 405 Israelis have petitioned for asylum in the United States, and 116 such requests were granted.

According to an Aug. 13 report in Yedioth Ahronoth, the petitioners claimed that they were persecuted by authorities on religious, political, racial or national grounds, or that their lives were in mortal danger in Israel.

Foreign nationals can petition for asylum only when they are on U.S. soil. Should the courts find merit to the petition, the petitioner is granted refugee status.

Immigration law attorney Perry Novotny said that most petitioners are probably Israeli Arabs, former USSR immigrants and radical haredim, who claim persecution. In the cases of Israeli Arabs, he said, the reason may be the threat of “honor killings” or blood feuds. —