DEMANDING ANSWERS: Bipartisan Congressmen Pen Letter to State Dept. Over Passport Crisis in Israel


A group of seven bipartisan Congressmen have sent a letter to the State Department demanding answers over the ongoing crisis at the US Embassy in Israel, where numerous young families have found it impossible to receive an emergency passport for their newborn children which would allow them to fly to the U.S. for Pesach.

In the letter, Reps. Mike Lawler, Anthony D’Esposito, Josh Gottheimer, Dan Goldman, Pat Ryan, Marcus Molinaro, and Yvette Clark, write that many of their constituents have reached out to their offices “to share their frustration with the U.S. Citizen Services provided in Israel.”

“These Americans are having trouble making appointments, as walk-ins are unavailable and appointment times are few and far between,” the letter reads. “One particularly frequent complaint has been regarding delays related to passport and consular report of birth abroad (CRBA) applications. Despite being U.S. citizens, these Americans are waiting in some cases months in order to see basic requests fulfilled.”

The Congressmen then list a bunch of questions for the State Department to answer, specifically:

  • How many pending requests are there at U.S. State Department offices in Israel? How does this compare to other countries? What, if any, measures are being taken to address this backlog of requests?
  • What is the typical wait time for passport and CRBA services in Israel? How does this compare to other countries?
  • How many foreign service officers work on U.S. Citizen Services in Israel, and how does this compare to other countries? With upwards of 500,000 Americans in Israel, should the State Department reassess staffing levels at the Embassy in Jerusalem and at the Consulate in Tel Aviv?

The letter is addressed to Assistant Secretary Naz Durakoglu of the State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs.

Earlier on Wednesday, Senator Chuck Schumer told Agudath Israel’s Leadership Mission to Washington that he is working on resolving the issues, and Rep. Chris Smith, who represents Lakewood, sent his own letter urging officials to assist his constituents stranded in Israel.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. These 7 congressmen in their letter & questions to the State Department, somehow forgot to question the State Department, if they are still operating on full fledged Corona restrictions mode? Because it surely doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is the underlying cause of this entire crisis

  2. If an American tourist goes on a quick vacation to Israel and unexpectedly gives birth there, how are they supposed to get their new baby home?

  3. We should really be concerned. We are being ignored.
    There are ZERO appointments online PERIOD. I check every day.
    My kids’ passports are expired and the only way to renew them is in person at the embassy.
    The only way to get an appointment is online.
    There are ZERO appointments online PERIOD. I check every day.
    This is the nightmare that never ends… catch 22…
    and they are so RUDE and HATEFUL.

  4. online info::: If you are unable to find any available appointments and you have immediate travel, you can schedule an emergency appointment. We will release emergency appointments every workday between 3PM and 4PM for appointments the next workday. If you schedule one of these appointments, you will only receive an emergency, limited-validity passport (not a full-validity passport).
    We do not accept emergency appointment requests by email or by telephone.

  5. In February I looked for an appointment to renew my five year old’s expired passport. The first appointment I received was the beginning of august.
    I decided to be curious and check for a CRBA appointment for my unborn child…the earliest appointment was in February 2024 but no time windows were opened.
    The workers at the embassy are sadists.
    They threatened to call embassy officers to forcibly remove me after I nicely asked them to cut in line during the open day for passport renewals in December 2021 because I was in line for nearly 4 hours almost at the finish but had to make it in time to pick up my children from Gan. Only when the other delightful people who were Waiting line yelled at them to let me finish and leave did the guy stop his nonsense.
    Also it’s been 4 years since I applied for my son’s SS and it has never arrived. When I contacted them they told me too bad not our problem apply for a replacement via mail.

  6. During the height of the lockdown they were allowing online appointments via zoom and the like. I don’t know if that was in practice actually better. Ralphz – the state dept generally does pay attention to congress people.

  7. Beney: did you read the article where they said that people were turned away at the embassy after booking an emergency passport appointment because the staff didn’t like their reason for wanting to travel.

  8. Israel is always singled out. I remember being shown passports that stated that the holder was from Jerusalem with no country affixed to that. This conduct is reprehensible.

  9. US State Department in Yisroel is full of incompetents. They’ve allowed American citizens to get tortured on closed facilities in Yisroel for months on end before ever intervening. Shameful accomplices to war crimes. International headlines tho when the change the name of a building from “Consulate” to “Embassy”. Anyway, why would Jews want to leave Yisroel for Pesach?..

  10. “Shameful accomplices to war crimes….”

    I just checked the most recent definition of “war crimes”. Not providing an “emergency” visa for traveling home for the sedorim was not listed among the designated crimes.

  11. I was describing other things the US State Department has done, like taking its time to get its citizens out of administrative detentions where they are being subjected to torture in breach of the Rome Statute.