Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Global Impact: Jerusalem Post's Washington Bureau Chief Refused Visa for Obama's Visit to Saudi

The Saudi government is refusing to allow The Jerusalem Post’s Washington bureau chief to cover President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to the Kingdom.

In a move that the White House Correspondents Association called "outrageous," Michale Wilner, is purportedly the only member of the Washington Press Corps who has been denied a visa for the trip.

The Post reported that the Saudis ignored "firmly worded requests" to grant the application, which were made by US National Security Adviser Susan Rice and presidential assistant Tony Blinken to Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir.

The newspaper added: “Rice and Blinken separately expressed extreme displeasure at the delay and the prospect of a denial.’’

COMMENT: "We are deeply disappointed that this credible journalist was denied a visa,” said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the NSC. “We will continue to register our serious concerns about this unfortunate decision." 

Rather than humbly continue expressing displeasure with the Saudi ambassador in Washington, President Obama should demonstrate that he has starch in his shirt and summarily CANCEL the visit entirely.

Michale Wilner, a Jewish-American, works for the Israeli English-language newspaper, but does not hold Israeli citizenship and has never lived in the Jewish state. 

Politics are so often used as a convenient crutch, yet in this case, Washington should for once, stand firmly behind Freedom of the Press and take a stand instead of becoming an overly-used doormat of the Saudis simply because of political correctness.