September 14, 2012
Congressman Chris Smith
Washington DC Office
2373 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Via fax: 202-225-7768
Dear Congressman Smith:
I write today in support of H.R. 6292, “Justice for Imprisoned Americans
Overseas Act” or “Jacob’s Law.” American citizens should not lose their basic
rights at our shores. It is imperative other countries recognize that there is a
price to pay if they mistreat American citizens. We recognize your specific
motivation for this bill, the sad story of Mr. Ostreicher who languishes in a
While we laud your leadership on this front, we
wish to bring to your attention an ongoing harassment policy awaiting American
citizens who travel to Israel. I, like thousands of fellow citizens over the
last two decades, have been a victim of this degrading and totally offensive
treatment. I would be happy to publicly share my experience.
We look forward to the passage of H.R. 62692
because it will add teeth to our declared policy of intolerance towards
mistreatment of American citizens. Over the years, we have brought this matter
to the attention of the US State Department who could only promise to bring the
matter to their regular dealings with their Israeli counterparts. We have seen
no appreciable change in the treatment of our citizens while travelling to or in
Israel. Your honorable decision to elevate the concern of our government (and
the subsequent penalties thereof) is a most welcome endeavor. Other countries
will be sure to take notice.
We believe the bill should include specific
references to the plight of American citizens, some of whom endure abusive and
degrading treatment simply because of their ethnic background. We are ready for
testimonies, written and oral- by American citizens who are victims of this
abusive Israeli policy. I would like very much to discuss the details of these
stories and perhaps encourage you to incorporate them in the testimonies and the
expected debates over your bill.
To this end, I look forward to talking to you further on this important bill and
hopefully render the bill inclusive and protective of all American citizens.
You may contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org or my cell, 973-960-2673. I look forward to
hearing from you soon.
Dr. Aref Assaf, President
American Arab Forum