Israel’s ambassador to the US, David Friedman, says Israel has no choice but to allow an “unprecedented” US visa lottery to be opened for Israeli nationals.
He made the comments in an interview with Reuters in Tel Aviv.
“I’m sorry, but Israel has to allow a diversity lottery.
That’s the only way to prevent a terrorist attack,” Friedman said.
Israel has long been one of the few countries in the Middle East to be allowed to enter the US through the diversity visa program.
Israel’s immigration minister said earlier this month that Israel had received over 200,000 applications for the lottery, which is due to run from September 10 to August 30.
According to Friedman, the lottery is “highly controversial”.
“We must have a very clear vision for the future,” he said.
“We need to do this for the sake of Israel’s future.
Israel will not become an Israeli state.
It will remain an independent state that will not allow the US to take over our sovereignty.”
Friedman said that while he hoped the lottery would not lead to terrorist attacks, he doubted the lottery was the answer.
“There is a chance, but I don’t know if it’s a chance,” he added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he would like to see a diversity-related lottery open to all Israelis.