‘We have cancelled your booking’ — the criminalization of travel to the West Bank is laid bare to the world

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 84 Comments
demo france
French activists protesting European airlines canceling flytilla passenger flights, 2011.          (Photo: Abu Nawfal)

This Sunday, I was planning to fly to Tel Aviv with up to 1,500 other participants in Welcome to Palestine 2012, a peaceful initiative of travel and solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank. We had an invitation from over 25 civil society groups across the West Bank. We had the blessing of the mayor of Bethlehem. Our plans consisted of such terroristic activities as laying the cornerstone of a kindergarten, repairing damaged wells, and planting olive trees.

This morning I received the following notice from the airline on which I had purchased a ticket to fly to Tel Aviv:

From: CustomerCare <[email protected]> Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 10:21 AM
To: Laura Durkay

Jet2.com Flight LS907 Manchester to Tel Aviv Sunday 15th April 2012

Dear Laura Durkay,

Jet2.com is required by the Israeli authorities to provide Advance Passenger Information in relation to all passengers that it carries on flights to Israel. Advance Passenger Information includes a passenger’s name, date of birth, passport number and nationality.

In accordance with Article 7 of its Terms and Conditions, Jet2.com has provided Advance Passenger Information in respect of your flight from Manchester to Israel. As a result of providing that Information, Jet2.com has been informed by the Israeli authorities that you will not be not permitted to enter Israel. Consequently, if Jet2.com carries you to Israel, you will be refused entry and Jet2.com will be liable for both a fine and your return to Manchester.

As a result, and in accordance with Article 24 of its Terms and Conditions, Jet2.com: “may refuse to carry you where such action is necessary for reasons of safety and/or security and/or to comply with any applicable laws, regulations or orders of any country to be flown from, into or over including laws or regulations relating to Advance Passenger Information requirements.” We regret that, in light of the decision taken by the Israeli authorities, we are unable to accept you for carriage to Israel on this occasion and your booking with Jet2.com has been cancelled.

In accordance with Article 26.3 of its Terms and Conditions, Jet2.com is a non-refundable airline and we will therefore be unable to offer any refund, with the exception of a refund of the applicable taxes paid, as a result of the decision taken by the Israeli authorities.

Jet2.com would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of your booking, which we hope you will appreciate is totally beyond our control.

Yours sincerely
Jet2.com Customer Care Team

I soon found out I was far from alone. Many other UK participants had received the same notice. In France, Lufthansa had cut to the chase and canceled an entire flight to Tel Aviv.

On the one hand, this is hardly surprising. The Israeli government has a long record of denying entry to any international suspected of sympathy with the Palestinians. And of course this is just the tip of the iceberg—the iceberg being the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who are unable to return to their own country, even for a brief visit as a tourist.

But it is worth taking a step back to realize how thoroughly absurd and far-reaching these policies have become. With this sweeping denial of entry of hundreds of activists simultaneously, the Israeli government policy of criminalizing mere travel to the Occupied Territories is laid bare for all the world to see.

When I participated in Welcome to Palestine 2011, last July, I was effectively imprisoned for four days simply for answering, when asked where I was going, “Bethlehem.” In the bizarre world of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, even to speak the word Palestine is forbidden.

One of the goals of the Welcome to Palestine initiative is to highlight the fact that, while conditions may not be as dire as in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank is also under Israeli siege, since Israel controls all points of entry and exit. Today, with the willing cooperating of European governments and corporations, that siege extends as far as Brussels, Paris and Manchester. But all the Israeli government has done is ensure that resistance to its policies will reach those shores as well.

About Laura Durkay

Laura Durkay is a writer and activist living in New York City, involved in the queer rights and Palestine solidarity movements as a member of the International Socialist Organization. She blogs about film, struggle, history and their intersections at http://lauraontheleftcoast.blogspot.com/

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84 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    April 14, 2012, 10:27 am

    It’s time to implement the motto: “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

    Since Israel sees fit — for political reasons unrelated to terrorism — to shut down a portion of international commercial airtraffic, I think the appropriate BDS response is for citizens to request every European country to shut down commercial airtraffic with Israel — also for political reasons unrelated to terrorism

    For how long? How about: until the 650,000 settlers are removed, the wall dismantled, and the siege of Gaza lifted.

    • annie bis
      April 15, 2012, 4:56 pm

      Love your comment. We could at least refuse entry to the war criminals who abound over there.

  2. Mayhem
    April 14, 2012, 10:32 am

    the Israeli government policy of criminalizing mere travel to the Occupied Territories is laid bare for all the world to see

    What a joke to suggest there is any element of ‘criminalizing mere travel’ involved here.
    Israel is perfectly entitled to prevent entry to those people who are coming to Israel saying they want to do lovely things like plant olive trees, or dig water wells.
    Let’s not kid ourselves; the people coming are pro-Palestinian activists affiliated with radical organizations itching to create a show for the media.
    Israel did not want this flytilla to have the same repercussions as the Gaza flotilla had and its authorities have been steadfast in ensuring that a deadly charade would not recur.

    But all the Israeli government has done is ensure that resistance to its policies will reach those shores as well.

    Israel ultimately is in damage control mode and this last remark by Durkay reeks of a pitiable threat that if Israel doesn’t pay heed to us that the whole world will rise up against it.
    Yeh yeh.

    • eljay
      April 14, 2012, 11:18 am

      >> Let’s not kid ourselves; the people coming are pro-Palestinian activists affiliated with radical organizations itching to create a show for the media.

      The glorious and benevolent Jewish state has nothing to hide – certainly nothing as immoral and unjust as a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder – so there’s no “show for the media” that these devious, “radical organizations”-affiliated activists could possibly create.

      Or…perhaps the glorious and benevolent Jewish state’s laundry is not as sparkly white as it claims, and there is a reason it prefers not to have it aired.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 14, 2012, 11:29 am

      Israel ultimately is in damage control mode and this last remark by Durkay reeks of a pitiable threat that if Israel doesn’t pay heed to us that the whole world will rise up against it.
      Yeh yeh.

      what you regard as israel’s damage control, is working against it. this action has tied virtual ropes around israel’s image. if israel was smart it would let the activists enter for there would likely been very little press. as it is the action of these airliners kowtowing to the goi has gotten more press than anyone could have hoped for.

      link to news.google.com

      Full coverage

      Airlines cancel activists’ flights to Israel
      Boston.com – ‎1 hour ago‎
      JERUSALEM—A coordinator of a mass fly-in of pro-Palestinian activists into Israel’s main airport say airlines have canceled flights for at least 100 people. Amira Musallam said Saturday that activists notified her via email that Lufthansa , EasyJet and …
      ‘Flytilla’ tickets cancelled on Israel objections
      AFP – ‎1 hour ago‎
      LONDON — British airline Jet2.com said Saturday it has cancelled tickets for an unspecified number of passengers planning to attend a pro-Palestinian activist gathering after Israel raised objections. The Guardian newspaper had reported that Jet2.com …
      Airlines cancel pro-Palestinian activists’ flights to Israel
      USA TODAY – ‎2 hours ago‎
      By Saeed Khan, AFP/Getty Images Malaysian Muslim women hold placards and shout anti-Israel slogans during a rally in support of Palestine in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, on March 30. By Saeed Khan, AFP/Getty Images Malaysian Muslim women hold …
      2 airlines cancel ‘flytilla’ activists’ tickets
      Welcome to Palestine: ‘Even prisoners are allowed visits’
      Aljazeera.com – ‎3 hours ago‎
      Even Jews can be barred by Israel from travelling to Bethlehem – for the thought crime of supporting Palestinian rights. Washington, DC – What difference will it make to the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank when the world meets their demands for …
      Deir Yassin Massacre..64Years of Pain
      Al-Resalah – ‎4 hours ago‎
      Gaza,(Alresalah.ps)–”Deir Yassin” is not just a geographic location of 48 territories in the memory of Palestinians and Arabs , but it is also a bleeding wound and a symbol of Zionist crimes, which are still depriving the massacre survivors from …
      Ynetnews – ‎5 hours ago‎
      British airline Jet2.com and Air France have cancelled the tickets of four women planning to travel to Israel on Sunday to take part in the pro-Palestinian “flytilla” protest. According to The Guardian, the low-cost airline relented to Israel’s request …
      Jet2.com airline cancels tickets of pro-Palestine activists
      Jerusalem Post – ‎7 hours ago‎
      By JPOST.COM STAFF The Jet2.com airline canceled the tickets of three Manchester women that had intended on participating in the upcoming “flytilla”, the Guardian reported Friday. Pro-Palestinian activists are attempting to land en masse at Ben-Gurion …
      Lufthansa cancels dozens of tickets on Tel Aviv flight
      eTurboNews – ‎12 hours ago‎
      German airline Lufthansa canceled the tickets of dozens of pro-Palestinian activists scheduled to fly to Tel Aviv on Sunday as part of a mass fly-in dubbed “Welcome to Palestine,” the organizers said Friday. “Dozens of passengers who bought a plane …
      Pro-Palestinian activists dismiss warnings
      Newsday – ‎15 hours ago‎
      World Newsday > News > World Print Aa Pro-Palestinian activists dismiss warnings Published: April 13, 2012 7:31 PM By The Associated Press JERUSALEM — Organizers of a planned pro-Palestinian demonstration said Friday they expect about 1000 activists …
      Israel prepares for pro-Palestinian activists at airport
      CNN – ‎22 hours ago‎
      By Kareem Khadder, CNN (file photo) Israeli police and border guard officers at Ben Gurion airport on July 7, 2011, before the arrival of pro-Palestinian activists. Jerusalem (CNN) — Israeli security forces are preparing to deport hundreds of …
      Welcome to Palestine: “Even Prisoners Are Allowed Visits”
      Huffington Post (blog) – ‎22 hours ago‎
      What difference will it make to the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank when the world meets their demands for freedom and self-determination? One difference it will make: like other peoples of the world, the Palestinians will get to decide who they …
      Pro-Palestinian activists dismiss Israeli warnings
      DAWN.com – ‎Apr 13, 2012‎
      AP | 18 hours ago A youth wearing a gas mask and holding the Palestinian flag looks on during clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians and foreign activists along the Israeli built controversial separation barrier.
      European airlines cancel tickets of pro-Palestinian ‘flytilla’ activists
      Haaretz – ‎Apr 13, 2012‎
      Ahead of Sunday’s planned ‘fly-in,’ Israel’s Interior Minister sends airlines list of names of blacklisted activists, threatens punitive steps if companies allow them to board Israel-bound flights. By Zohar Blumenkrantz Tags: West Bank Israel Police …
      Pro-Palestinian activists dismiss Israel warning
      Arab News – ‎Apr 13, 2012‎
      By AP JERUSALEM: Organizers of a planned pro-Palestinian demonstration say they expect about 1000 activists from Europe and North America to board flights for Israel this weekend, despite Israeli warnings to deport them. Israel says the activists are …
      Israel forces airline to cancel tickets of British ‘flytilla’ activists
      The Guardian – ‎Apr 13, 2012‎
      Israel has forced low-cost airline Jet2.com to cancel the tickets of three women from Manchester intending to travel to Bethlehem via Tel Aviv this weekend for a gathering of pro-Palestinian activists. Jet2.com informed the women by email that the …
      Pro-Palestinian activists dismiss Israel deportation warning
      Fox News – ‎Apr 13, 2012‎
      JERUSALEM – Organizers of a planned pro-Palestinian demonstration said Friday they expect about 1000 activists from Europe and North America to board flights for Israel this weekend, despite Israeli warnings to deport them. Activists with the “Welcome …
      All 214 related articles »

      this has been a fantastically successful action on the part of activists. if this is the best damage control israel has to offer……

      • Izik
        April 14, 2012, 5:27 pm

        Annie,

        You have lost all credibility. First go to Syria and protest against the daily massacres against his people. Then we’ll talk.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 14, 2012, 6:08 pm

        you mean these daily massacres?
        ah, your faux concern for syrians. impressive/not.

        you didn’t like my list izie, boo hoo. you might like this too:

        link to syria360.wordpress.com

      • Cliff
        April 14, 2012, 6:29 pm

        Izik,

        Stop using murdered Syrians to mask the murdered Palestinians.

        You don’t give a damn about anyone outside of your tribe. You are a racist and a hypocrite and are on this blog with a hateful agenda that any rational person can see.

      • Daniel Rich
        April 14, 2012, 6:59 pm

        @ Izik,

        I get it. You’re a crack addict shooting $ 750 a day up your arm, but there’s another one, around the corner, who does $ 950. Yeah, much worse, like in a woman who’s raped twice suffers twice as much as a woman who’s raped once?

      • Annie Robbins
        April 14, 2012, 8:01 pm

        GREAT NEWS Izik! i know you are gonna love this! check out this tweet

        Jalal ‏ @JalalAK_jojo

        Reply
        Retweeted
        Favorite
        · Open

        Hey, @Mondoweiss story on Welcome to Palestine 2 is currently on @reddit’s frong page and top news in /r/worldnews link to reddit.com

        it’s got over 900 comments

      • ritzl
        April 15, 2012, 3:50 pm

        Thanks Annie. 1900 comments as of this comment.

        What gets something on reddit?

      • Annie Robbins
        April 15, 2012, 4:16 pm

        wow, over double since last night. i have no idea what gets something on reddit. ritzl,it’s not a site i frequent. i think it has to do with a reddit toggle. perhaps someone else knows.

      • Blake
        April 15, 2012, 4:40 pm

        Ritzl: You can put any link up on Reddit. Just need to join. Not really a fan of it myself.

      • annie bis
        April 15, 2012, 5:06 pm

        Annie,
        Few people doubt that the powers that be have designs on Syria that are all but humanitarian. This does not take anything away from the righteousness of the Syrian cause. It will be up to the citizens to defend their revolution.

      • Miss Costello
        April 16, 2012, 3:28 am

        “You have lost all credibility”.
        If she had, which she hasn’t, at least she’d have some to lose. You have none.

        “Then we’ll talk. ‘We’? Just who the F’ do you think you are!?

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2012, 3:17 pm

        “Then we’ll talk.”

        And why on earth would anybody who doesn’t enjoy hitting themselves in the head with a hammer want to talk to you?

        But I know how you can teach her a lesson, Izik! Simply refuse to comment until Annie reaches your standards for even handedness! Simple, no?

        Funny isn’t it, the two places Zionists can’t stay away from. One is property that belongs to Palestinians, and the other is Mondoweiss.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 16, 2012, 3:30 pm

        Izik! Simply refuse to comment until Annie reaches your standards for even handedness!

        he has not been back since that comment on the 14th mooser, what are the chances he’s abandon us for good? i’m sure he’s so miserable without us it’s almost being here for him. the life of a hasbarist is so complex.

      • Mayhem
        April 15, 2012, 10:43 am

        @Annie: Don’t let your exuberance interfere with reality. At least in my part of the world not a single newspaper has reported a jot about Flytilla 2012. Plenty about renewed attacks by the Syrian army, continuing talks with Iran and the presidential race in Egypt, which is a complete charade.

      • CloakAndDagger
        April 15, 2012, 5:58 pm

        …and what part of the world would that be?

      • Miss Costello
        April 16, 2012, 3:58 am

        “Don’t let your exuberance interfere with reality”
        Don’t let the facts interfere with yours.

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2012, 3:18 pm

        “At least in my part of the world…”

        Gosh, I couldn’t even imagine living in an unventilated outhouse.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 16, 2012, 3:32 pm

        an unventilated outhouse with plenty of talk about renewed attacks by the Syrian army, continuing talks with Iran and the presidential race in Egypt. sounds like winep or some other neocon stinkthinktank.

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 14, 2012, 3:54 pm

      RE: “What a joke to suggest there is any element of ‘criminalizing mere travel’ involved here. Israel is perfectly entitled to prevent entry to those people who are coming to Israel saying they want to do lovely things like plant olive trees, or dig water wells.” ~ Mayhem

      MY REPLY: Mayhem strikes yet again with totally reckless abandon!

      SEE: Activists plan to land in TLV airport, hundreds of flights already canceled, by Mya Guarnieri, +972 Magazine, 4/14/12

      (excerpt). . . Last year’s “Welcome to Palestine” initiative saw more than 300 internationals attempt to land in Israel. Israel blacklisted most of them, including a nine-year-old child and an 83-year-old activist. Many were prevented from boarding their planes in Europe; more than a hundred were arrested upon arrival in Ben Gurion Airport.
      According to Haaretz, two activists fought the deportation in 2011. Their lawyer, Omer Shatz, explained that an Israeli court accepted their appeal on the grounds that the Interior Ministry “cannot refuse entry to anyone who declares on arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport that they intend to travel to the West Bank, because the area is under miltary [SIC] control…”
      Shatz added that the Interior Ministry’s exercise of control over who enters the West Bank is akin to annexing the occupied Palestinan territories. . .

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to 972mag.com

      • Miss Costello
        April 16, 2012, 3:51 am

        “Mayhem strikes yet again with totally reckless abandon!”

        Do you think ‘Mayhem’ ‘may or may not’ be isra-hel’s answer to the new ‘Blunderman’? There’s a distinct possibility. Never before have I witnessed so many gaffs/blunders, (at record speed!), of epic proportions, by a pro israeli blogger. Three days on and I’m STILL smiling re. the Gid Levy howler! ‘The Blunder Blogger’? It could catch on!

  3. DICKERSON3870
    April 14, 2012, 11:10 am

    RE: ” ‘We have cancelled your booking’ — the criminalization of travel to the West Bank is laid bare to the world”

    MY COMMENT: Israels actions in this instance remind somewhat of the way that the Zionists back in the 1930s and 1940s worked so diligently to prevent Jews from being able to flee Germany for the safety of the U.S., Britain, etc.

    EXCERPTS FROM “The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict”, Published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East:

    (excerpts). . . “In 1938 a thirty-one nation conference was held in Evian, France, on resettlement of the victims of Nazism. The World Zionist Organization refused to participate, fearing that resettlement of Jews in other states would reduce the number available for Palestine.” ~ John Quigley, ‘Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice’
    “It was summed up in the meeting [of the Jewish Agency’s Executive on June 26, 1938] that the Zionist thing to do ‘is belittle the [Evian] Conference as far as possible and to cause it to decide nothing… ~ Israeli author Boas Evron, ‘Jewish State or Israeli Nation?’
    “[Ben-Gurion stated] ‘If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, but only half of them by transporting them to Palestine, I would choose the second — because we face not only the reckoning of those children, but the historical reckoning of the Jewish people.’ In the wake of the Kristallnacht pogroms, Ben-Gurion commented that ‘the human conscience’ might bring various countries to open their doors to Jewish refugees from Germany. He saw this as a threat and warned: ‘Zionism is in danger.’” ~ Israeli historian, Tom Segev, ‘The Seventh Million’

    Roosevelt’s advisor writes on why Jewish refugees were not offered sanctuary in the U.S. after WWII
    …“[Roosevelt] proposed a world budget for the easy migration of the 500,000 beaten people of Europe. Each nation should open its doors for some thousands of refugees…So he suggested that during my trips for him to England during the war I sound out in a general, unofficial manner the leaders of British public opinion, in and out of the government…The simple answer: Great Britain will match the United States, man for man, in admissions from Europe…It seemed all settled. With the rest of the world probably ready to give haven to 200,000, there was a sound reason for the President to press Congress to take in at least 150,000 immigrants after the war…
    “It would free us from the hypocrisy of closing our own doors while making sanctimonious demands on the Arabs…But it did not work out…The failure of the leading Jewish organizations to support with zeal this immigration programme may have caused the President not to push forward with it at that time…
    “I talked to many people active in Jewish organizations. I suggested the plan…I was amazed and even felt insulted when active Jewish leaders decried, sneered, and then attacked me as if I were a traitor
    …I think I know the reason for much of the opposition. There is a deep, genuine, often fanatical emotional vested interest in putting over the Palestinian movement [Zionism]. Men like Ben Hecht are little concerned about human blood if it is not their own.” ~ Jewish attorney and friend of President Roosevelt, Morris Ernst, ‘So Far, So Good’

    ENTIRE “ORIGIN” BOOKLET – link to archive.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 14, 2012, 4:03 pm

      RE: ” ‘We have cancelled your booking’ — the criminalization of travel to the West Bank is laid bare to the world”

      MY COMMENT: Israel’s actions in this instance remind somewhat of the way that the Zionists back in the 1930s and 1940s worked so diligently to prevent Jews from being able to flee Germany for the safety of the U.S., Britain, etc.

      FROM ‘The Hidden History of Zionism’, by Ralph Schoenman [excerpts]:

      • Sacrificing Europe’s Jews
      The correlative to the acts of collaboration with the Nazis throughout the 1930’s was that when attempts to change the immigration laws of the United States and Western Europe were contemplated in order to provide token refuge for persecuted Jews of Europe, it was the Zionists who actively organized to stop these efforts.
      Ben Gurion informed a meeting of Labor Zionists in Great Britain in 1938: “If I knew that it would be possible to save all the children in Germany by bringing them over to England and only half of them by transporting them to Eretz Israel, then I opt for the second alternative.” [84] This obsession with colonizing Palestine and overwhelming the Arabs led the Zionist movement to oppose any rescue of the Jews facing extermination, because the ability to deflect select manpower to Palestine would be impeded. From 1933 to 1935, the WZO [World Zionist Organization] turned down two-thirds of all the German Jews who applied for immigration certificates.
      Berel Katznelson, editor of the Labor Zionist Davar, described the “cruel criteria of Zionism”:

      German Jews were too old to bear children in Palestine, lacked trades for building a Zionist colony, didn’t speak Hebrew and weren’t Zionists. In place of these Jews facing extermination the WZO brought to Palestine 6,000 trained young Zionists from the United States, Britain and other safe countries. Worse than this, the WZO not merely failed to seek any alternative for the Jews facing the Holocaust, the Zionist leadership opposed belligerently all efforts to find refuge for fleeing Jews.

      • Fighting Asylum
      The entire Zionist establishment made its position unmistakable in its response to a motion by 227 British members of Parliament calling on the government to provide asylum in British territories for persecuted Jews. . .
      . . . At a Parliamentary meeting on January 27, 1943, when the next steps were being pursued by over one hundred members of Parliament, a spokesperson for the Zionists announced that they opposed this motion because it did not contain preparations for the colonization of Palestine. This was a consistent stance.
      Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader who had arranged the Balfour Declaration and was to become the first president of Israel, made this Zionist policy very explicit:

      The hopes of Europe’s six million Jews are centered on emigration. I was asked: “Can you bring six million Jews to Palestine?” I replied, “No.” … From the depths of the tragedy I want to save … young people [for Palestine]. The old ones will pass. They will bear their fate or they will not. They are dust, economic and moral dust in a cruel world … Only the branch of the young shall survive. They have to accept it. [87]

      Yitzhak Gruenbaum, the chairperson of the committee set up by the Zionists, nominally to investigate the condition of European Jews, said:

      When they come to us with two plans – the rescue of the masses of Jews in Europe or the redemption of the land – I vote, without a second thought, for the redemption of the land. The more said about the slaughter of our people, the greater the minimization of our efforts to strengthen and promote the Hebraisation of the land. If there would be a possibility today of buying packages of food with the money of the Karen Hayesod [United Jewish Appeal] to send it through Lisbon, would we do such a thing? No. And once again no! [88]

      SOURCE – link to marxists.de

      • DICKERSON3870
        April 14, 2012, 9:08 pm

        P.S. And yet, Netanyahu had the unmitigated chutzpah to pull this stunt during his recent speech at the AIPAC conference:

        (excerpt)…Mr Netanyahu evoked the horrors of the Holocaust, quoting a 1944 letter in which the US rejected a request by Jewish leaders to bomb the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in Poland…

        SOURCE – link to irishtimes.com
        ALSO SEE – link to csmonitor.com

  4. CloakAndDagger
    April 14, 2012, 11:10 am

    Laura needs to sue the Israeli government, at least for the refund of her ticket. They can’t show any legal cause for why she should be required to suffer financial loss for her intent to legally protest Israel’s actions.

  5. Blake
    April 14, 2012, 11:33 am

    Makes me think of this movie. “Salt of This Sea” (Milh Hadha al-Bahr) from 2008

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 14, 2012, 3:33 pm

      RE: “Makes me think of this movie. ‘Salt of This Sea’ ” ~ Blake

      REPLY: Yes, an excellent film with some superb dry/dark, Kafkaesque humor!

      NETFLIX: Salt of This Sea (Milh Hadha al-Bahr), 2008, NR, 109 minutes
      Born in Brooklyn to Palestinian refugee parents, Soraya (Suheir Hammad) decides to journey to the country of her ancestry when she discovers that her grandfather’s savings have been frozen in a Jaffa bank account since his 1948 exile. She soon finds, however, that her simple plan is a complicated undertaking — and one that takes her farther from her comfort zone (both geographically and emotionally) than she’d imagined in this romantic drama.
      Language: Arabic (English subtitles)
      Netfix Availability: Streaming and DVD
      NETFLIX LISTING – link to movies.netflix.com
      ALSO ON YouTube (VIDEO, 1:45:17) – link to youtube.com
      Salt of This Sea, Trailer (VIDEO, 01:43) – link to youtube.com

      • DICKERSON3870
        April 14, 2012, 5:03 pm

        P.S. I AM ALSO REMINDED OF THIS:
        Theater of War, 2008, NR, 95 minutes
        Go behind the scenes of the Public Theater’s 2006 production of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, starring the legendary Meryl Streep and translated by Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner. In addition to offering a rare window into Streep’s process, the documentary also examines how Brecht’s own tumultuous life experiences informed his remarkable play. Other interviewees include Streep’s co-star Kevin Kline.
        Netflix Availability: Streaming and DVD (Streaming until 4/19/12)
        Netflix Listing – link to movies.netflix.com
        Theater of War trailer [VIDEO, 01:42] – link to youtube.com

  6. Jan
    April 14, 2012, 1:51 pm

    It must be said that other than the Allenby gate there is no way for anyone to reach Palestine except through Ben Gurion airport. When the Palestinians have their own airport there will be no need for anyone to go through Israel. Not only is Gaza a prison but so is the West Bank and the Israelis are the cruel and brutal jailers.

    I am also reminded of the time when there was a great campaign in the West, especially in the US, to get the Jews out of the Soviet Union. However, if the Soviet Jews chose not to go to Israel but to another country no effort was made to get them out. This was surely a campaign to increase the population of Jews in Israel more than it was to help the Jews of the Soviet Union who never suffered in any degree as do the Palestinians under the Israeli bootl.

  7. NormanF
    April 14, 2012, 2:15 pm

    No one has the right to enter a sovereign country without its permission. A country may with hold permission to enter for no stated reason. That is Israel’s right under international law and also under its domestic law, with which airlines are required to comply.

    Anti-Israel activists are not coming to Israel to make friends with the country but to pursue hostile activities against it. The Jewish people have the right to decide who their guests are. Enemies of the Jewish State will not be welcome in their country, period.

    • Cliff
      April 14, 2012, 6:26 pm

      “the Jewish people” should follow your own rules and get the hell out of historic Palestine or at the least, out of the occupied Palestinian territories.

    • justicewillprevail
      April 14, 2012, 6:35 pm

      They are trying to go to Palestine, not Israel. That is the whole point. Duh

      • Hamishe_Sabz
        April 15, 2012, 3:10 am

        why, they dont like Amman?

      • Blake
        April 15, 2012, 8:38 am

        Amman would grant them access to Palestine but ultimately its only you eastern Europeans who deny them that right as you control everything the way you want them to be controlled.

      • ritzl
        April 15, 2012, 3:57 pm

        If they fly into Amman, they still cannot get into the WB. Israel controls the crossing at the Allenby Bridge, presumably with the same set of rules and the same set of names.

        Next question.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 14, 2012, 7:15 pm

      No one has the right to enter a sovereign country without its permission. A country may with hold permission to enter for no stated reason. That is Israel’s right under international law and also under its domestic law, with which airlines are required to comply.

      norman, you would be WRONG

      link to mondoweiss.net

      link to 972mag.com

      (excerpt). . . Last year’s “Welcome to Palestine” initiative saw more than 300 internationals attempt to land in Israel. Israel blacklisted most of them, including a nine-year-old child and an 83-year-old activist. Many were prevented from boarding their planes in Europe; more than a hundred were arrested upon arrival in Ben Gurion Airport.

      According to link to haaretz.com, two activists fought the deportation in 2011. Their lawyer, Omer Shatz, explained that an Israeli court accepted their appeal on the grounds that the Interior Ministry “cannot refuse entry to anyone who declares on arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport that they intend to travel to the West Bank, because the area is under miltary [SIC] control…

      Shatz added that the Interior Ministry’s exercise of control over who enters the West Bank is akin to annexing the occupied Palestinan territories. . .

      • DICKERSON3870
        April 14, 2012, 8:56 pm

        Of course, in Israel court decisions are routinely ignored by the Israeli government, the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel’s Stasi), the Mossad and especially the (Un-)Civil Administration in the West Bank. Israel has never even really had a constitution.

        SEE:
        Weimar Revisited, by Uri Avnery, Antiwar.com, 11/21/11
        LINK – link to original.antiwar.com
        Avnery on McCarthyism Israeli-style: “Hi, Joe!”, by Uri Avnery, mwcnews.net, 1/08/11
        LINK – link to mwcnews.net

    • ritzl
      April 14, 2012, 7:24 pm

      Jeez, where to start.

      1) They have the permission to enter Palestine. Given by the Palestinians. The fact that Israel prohibits this has nothing whatsoever to do with a “sovereign country” [Israel] and its “laws.” It has everything to do with an illegal Occupation of a “sovereign country” [Palestine].

      2) Again with the anti-Israel blather. What these people are trying to do is to make Israel better (assuming that’s possible), by pointing out how the Occupation that is eating Israel up from the inside, is wrong, and seeking change in that condition. Likewise your use of “enemies” and “their country” (we’re talking about transiting to Palestine here). They’re pro-Israel from that perspective (temporarily accepting your assumptions of context).

      3) The “Jewish people” [Israel???] certainly have a right to determine who their guests are, but they don’t have any right to determine who Palestinian guests are. None. Zip. Zilch.

      4) If the “Jewish people” [again, Israel???] want to exercise this right, let them/it allow these people to fly into Amman and transit freely from Jordan. That would have absolutely nothing to do with Israel. But still there isn’t free transit to the WB. Explain that… Please. Without using the word “security,” because all the adults in the room know that this denial of access and transit has nothing to do with any concept of the word “security.”

      5) As others have said in this thread much more astutely, the POINT is to show and highlight the fact that Israel controls the WB, illegally, for many decades, and has no desire to change that fact. In that context, this was an incredibly successful act of protest.

      6) If Israel want’s to be accepted as a normal country, all they have to do is act like one, and let these people go (hell, let the Palestinians go), to where they want to go. All they are doing with their reaction to this demo is showing how far away from “Western democracy” they are. ‘Til then, expect more and more of this.

    • yourstruly
      April 15, 2012, 1:30 am

      then how come the palestinian people are denied the right to decide who their guests are? oh, i forgot, jewish settlers are still occupying the palestinian homeland.

    • Shingo
      April 15, 2012, 3:26 am

      No one has the right to enter a sovereign country without its permission.

      What part of the West Bank, EJ and Gaza is sovereign to Israek dufus

    • Kathleen
      April 15, 2012, 9:11 am

      Pro Palestine, Pro Israel, Pro Peace activist are coming to Israel to remind Israel and the world that Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian lands. That Israel is absolutely closing the door to a two state solution. They will have only themselves to blame when this happens. Israel is an apartheid state and this is becoming more and more apparent to people around the world.

    • Miss Costello
      April 15, 2012, 2:20 pm

      “That is Israel’s right under international law “.

      It beggars belief anyone would have the gall to quote ‘International Law’ in the same breath as the word and context of israhel, who has been in breach of it since Moses was a lad. Or so it seems. No other so called ‘democratic’ country has shown such utter contempt and disrespect for UN Security Council resolutions as this shitty little country. The Jewish ‘people’ need to remember THEY are the ‘guests’ of the Palestinians! and have UNDOUBTEDLY overstayed their welcome. SIXTY THREE YEARS & COUNTING- TO BE EXACT.

  8. Kathleen
    April 14, 2012, 2:56 pm

    And Israel continues to repeat it is a democracy. Phooey

    • Mayhem
      April 14, 2012, 6:47 pm

      @Kathleen: please spare us the sour grapes. This has nothing to do with democracy.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 14, 2012, 6:59 pm

        This has nothing to do with democracy.

        you don’t have to tell us!

      • Shingo
        April 15, 2012, 3:29 am

        This has nothing to do with democracy.

        Of course not. Israel is no democracy.

      • Miss Costello
        April 15, 2012, 2:23 pm

        “This has nothing to do with democracy.”

        Obviously, neither do you.

      • MHughes976
        April 15, 2012, 3:38 pm

        ‘Democracy’ to me means that the mass of people should exercise or share sovereignty and therefore should, individual by individual, have reasonable access to conflicting ideas and be allowed to evaluate them. That means contact across frontiers and that in turn means that it is unreasonable and contrary to democracy to exclude foreigners simply because of their ideas or because they intend to express these ideas by speaking or by various symbolic acts which they hope will attract publicity. People may be excluded because they clearly plan to break the country’s laws. But Israel claims to be a country where speaking out freely is protected, even when is widely unpopular, by law and moral principle.
        So if this isn’t anti-democratic petulance I don’t know what would be.

  9. mudder
    April 14, 2012, 3:04 pm

    Does anyone know which airlines besides Jet2.com cancel flotilla tickets without refund? Let’s create a boycott list.

  10. Kathleen
    April 14, 2012, 3:21 pm

    Laura I am looking for two women that I met at the Occupy Aipac conference this year(lost their info) who were from Seattle and Portland. They had been with the first flytilla. Incredible ladies. Had told them to contact Phil and Adam about writing about their experiences and sharing them with folks here and of course elsewhere. They had been talking about the next flytilla . Bet they were on this trip If you know who I am talking about send them here to share their more recent stories

  11. ritzl
    April 14, 2012, 3:56 pm

    So Jet2 canceled her ticket for spontaneous considerations in which she was not involved, AND stole her money to make up for it. Hell, Jet2 could make a whole cost-free profit center around this type of behavior. Book a few planeloads of people, cancel them at the last minute, and keep their money. What a [apparently legal, per Jet2] racket. I’m sure Israel would do their part.

    As unbelievable as it seems to be typical.

    Ms. Durkay should start saying that Jet2 stole her money. Invite the scrutiny and allow people to make judgements as to whether they want to fly on an airline that does this. Israel may never change for the better, but companies that do business with it under these capricious conditions should pay a price for doing so. BDS!

  12. dbroncos
    April 14, 2012, 9:46 pm

    “But all the Israeli government has done is ensure that resistance to its policies will reach those shores as well”

    Exactly right. This story will make more waves than any BDS initiative thus far.

  13. hammersmith
    April 14, 2012, 10:07 pm

    It is time for the one-state solution, a democratic secular state. Israel was at best an anachronism at its inception; today Israel, the would-be Jewish state, has become a hideous cancer.

  14. Fredblogs
    April 15, 2012, 4:28 am

    Being denied entry into a country is a civil matter, not a criminal one. Let me guess that the four days you were as you say “effectively imprisoned” last time was the time necessary to resolve your status and deport you.

    Also, what does “effectively imprisoned” mean?

    You booked a flight to a country whose officials told you last time you weren’t welcome, and you are surprised that you weren’t welcomed?

    • mig
      April 15, 2012, 5:58 am

      @Fredblogs :

      You booked a flight to a country whose officials told you last time you weren’t welcome, and you are surprised that you weren’t welcomed?

      You just dont get it do ya Freddo ?

      • Miss Costello
        April 15, 2012, 3:09 pm

        With due respect to all pro Palestinian contributors here, (of which I respectfully include myself) why waste precious time endlessly replying to the likes of ‘Freddo’ and ‘Mishap Mayhem’ who are clearly devoid of the most basic human values, decency and compassion. I accept it’s right and proper to initially challenge the nauseating nonsense spewed from their mouths, but not indefinitely! – which is most likely exactly what they want. Otherwise, why are they reading this blog? There are other blogs, where when it becomes obvious ‘Hasbara-ists’ are at work, they’re simply ignored- or to put it a another way, ‘dissed’- i.e. not worth so much as a glance, let alone a response. Just a thought!

      • ritzl
        April 15, 2012, 5:59 pm

        @Miss Costello, Point taken, though the “Why?” is that more and more readers are coming here to/and see the discrepancy in outlook and so many knowledgeable posters here offer shades, and outright fundamental adn factual differences, of “why” the perceptions and outlooks are so different.

      • Miss Costello
        April 15, 2012, 6:24 pm

        Yes, I see that. And I’m as ‘guilty’/ keen as the next man/woman to respond. It’s the thought of these arrogant, ignorant defenders of the indefensible (i.e. a cruel and brutal regime), enjoying every minute of the attention given. Let’s face it, they probably don’t get much of it anywhere else! ( holding such vile views).

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2012, 3:24 pm

        “why waste precious time endlessly replying to the likes of ‘Freddo’ and ‘Mishap Mayhem’ who are clearly devoid of the most basic human values, decency and compassion.”

        Because, if you want to know the truth, it’s sorta fun! Think about it, Miss Costello, it’s a win-win situation. We can say whatever we feel like, without worrying about whether the dry cleaner can get spit out of a wool garment, or worrying about them attacking our wives or daughters. How can you lose?

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2012, 3:29 pm

        “Yes, I see that.”

        I was sure you would, thanks. At any rate, if you do not like the standards here, go to “Jewes Sans Frontieres” another excellent site, well, it’s actually very different, its an anti-Zionist site. Anyway, Mark Elf’s standard for commenters is (if memory serves instead of dictates) “No Liars, timewasters, or bigots” and he gives them two or three chances, and then they’re gone. Hardly any Zionists comment there at all. Well, more than one or two times, that is.
        At any rate, JSF is certainly worth a look, if you don’t follow it already.

      • Miss Costello
        April 16, 2012, 4:08 pm

        “if you do not like the standards here”, Pardon? I have no problem whatsoever with the standards here. Maybe I didn’t explain myself as clearly as I thought I had.

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2012, 4:32 pm

        “if you do not like the standards here”, Pardon?”

        My apologies. I probably, as is typical of me, used too strong an expression when I said that. Or I was looking for an excuse to point you at JSF. I hope nothing I say will ever dissuade you from commenting freely at Mondoweiss. It sure as hell shouldn’t. Anybody will tell you that.
        Many people, and me, too, also, read both JSF and Mondoweiss and report no ill effects.

    • Blake
      April 15, 2012, 8:43 am

      What is it with zioNUTs and irrationality. The 2 go hand in hand.

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2012, 3:31 pm

        “What is it with zioNUTs and irrationality. The 2 go hand in hand.”

        Who needs rationality and facts when you have the human will and action, action, action! Of course, a blithe spirit helps, I personally never leave home without one.

  15. Blake
    April 15, 2012, 8:55 am

    “Bienvenue en Palestine” bloquée à l’aéroport de Paris

  16. pnkfloid
    April 15, 2012, 9:40 am

    “Israel did not want this flytilla to have the same repercussions as the Gaza flotilla had and its authorities have been steadfast in ensuring that a deadly charade would not recur.”

    The same repercussions? A deadly charade? No, the deaths were real, and Israel caused them. Israel is causing all the “repercussions” – not the least, by not allowing travelers to the West Bank, showing how claiming to be a “democracy” is truly a charade.

  17. Dutch
    April 15, 2012, 10:25 am

    The airlines involved: Lufthansa, Air France, Brussels Airlines, EasyJet, Jet2.com.

    Today I have sent them the following message. Please feel free to use any part of the below text, or compose your own. I’d like to stress the importance of letting the airlines know their actions will not be accepted.

    Dear Madam, Sir,

    Today I learned through the media about your involvement in cancelling tickets of passengers bound for Israel.

    I want to let you know that you are violating international law in doing so, which is considered a serious offense by the international community. Your claim that you can hide behind airline regulations is irrelevant: human rights go first – being it the civil rights of your passengers or the basic humanitarian rights of the people who invited them. If you are in doubt about this sequence, just consult any international lawyer or an NGO like Amnesty.

    For breaching European civil rights you need very serious argumentation. However, Israel has not been able to produce any valid accusation – simply because there is none. I remind you of the Israeli court ruling following the first Flytilla, stating that Israel’s Interior Ministry ‘cannot refuse entry to anyone who declares on arrival on Ben Gurion Airport that he/she intends to travel to the West Bank’. Israel’s demands have no legal capacity, and there is no way you can pass these on to your passengers. No European will accept that, even more so as his passing through Israel is involuntarily, forced upon him by Israel itself.

    By moral standards you have been cooperating in preventing a brutal military occupation to be addressed, valuing a possible fine by Israel of greater importance than stepping in for human rights. The latter choice would have been extremely easy, especially if coordinated with other European carriers. You failed to act. This brands you as de facto siding with the occupying state.

    I remind you that the United Nations have passed a number of resolutions condemning Israel for its occupation policy. European citizens want their corporations to stick to international law and produce clean hands any time of day. If third governments have a problem with that: ignore them, expose them, and do not cooperate with them. That’s what international law asks from you, and from all of us.

    Surely the victims of your actions will take legal action against your company. Outside the court your name will be added to the list of pariah companies that collaborate with Israel in keeping up its human rights abuses and military occupation. The EU and European governments will be asked to look into your actions, and will be urged not to make use of your services anymore. The latter goes for all passengers and the international travel industry. And of course the so called ‘activists’ will be back, at any chosen time and place, and in high numbers.

    Until justice is done,
    I remain,

    • Miss Costello
      April 15, 2012, 4:49 pm

      Well done! Excellent letter, raising several important points. An international boycott of these ‘Gung Ho – Nobody Go’ airlines should be organised, pronto!
      Internet petition, anyone?

  18. yourstruly
    April 15, 2012, 11:12 am

    how’s about bds boycotting all airlines that carry passengers to israel with the intent of reducing tourism to the settler entity, hightening, thereby, the zionist entity’s sense of being alone in a hostile world, the better to speed jewish settler flight out of occupied palestine. and as the jewish population in occupied palestine goes into free fall, no more talk of it ever being “jewish and democratic.”

  19. Laura Durkay
    April 15, 2012, 12:46 pm

    Update! After a spirited protest at the Jet2 check-in desk by those denied boarding and a number of their supporters, the “no refunds” airline decided to reconsider their policy and gave us letters saying they would refund our tickets.

    Out of the group traveling from the UK, I’d say 15-20 were denied boarding (including one person snatched minutes before getting on the plane.) 11 people from Manchester and 4 or 5 people from Luton slipped under the radar and have made it to Tel Aviv where they are presumably in the process of being detained.

    • Blake
      April 15, 2012, 1:52 pm

      Thanks Laura. Wish I knew where to sign up.

      From aljazeera:
      Hundreds stopped from leaving Europe for Israel

    • ritzl
      April 15, 2012, 5:52 pm

      Good! Good business sense prevails in this specific instance, which may, MAY mean that broader good sense can prevail.

      Great effort! Productive result.

  20. Miss Costello
    April 15, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Update; Apologies if already shown here.

    link to aljazeera.com

  21. AllenBee
    April 15, 2012, 6:07 pm

    Do these activist groups have some smart, energetic lawyers who can pursue legal claims against the airlines, thereby embarrassing Israel and causing other airlines to think twice before servicing flights to Israel.

    a riff on someone’s “sauce for goose/sauce for gander” suggestion, and the law suit is a favorite tactic of Israelis.

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