ADL Deeply Concerned Over Saudi Arabia’s Denial of Visa to American Journalist

New York, NY, March 26, 2014 …The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today voiced deep concern over Saudi Arabia’s denial of a request from the Obama Administration for a visa to be issued to Michael Wilner, an American reporter for The Jerusalem Post accredited to the White House, so he could accompany the president on his upcoming visit to the Kingdom.

“Because there have been clear precedents for issuing such visas in the past, and Mr. Wilner is the only journalist currently accredited to the White House who was denied a visa, it is difficult to understand this decision, which prevents a Jewish American journalist working for an Israeli news outlet from doing his job,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.

In a letter to the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir, Mr. Foxman said the decision and the absence of an explanation from the Saudi government has led to speculation that Mr. Wilner was singled out because he is Jewish and works for an Israeli newspaper.

 “As you know, if that speculation is true, it is unacceptable and will diminish the standing of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the eyes of many,” Mr. Foxman wrote. “If it is not true, I respectfully urge you to publicly set the record straight and provide a reasonable explanation for the decision to exclude Mr. Wilner from covering President Obama’s important meeting with King Abdullah.”

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.