‘This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel’: A Palestinian-American’s story of being detained at Ben Gurion airport

Israel/Palestine
on 90 Comments

I was born in West Jerusalem (so-called the Jewish half of Jerusalem) in 1945. Under a shower of bullets that were flying over our heads, my father grabbed me and the rest of the family and fled to his native city of Nablus at the eve of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. We remained in Rafidia-Nablus until 1952 and then moved to Ramallah where my father got a job in the post office. I went to the parochial school and then entered the Latin Seminary of Beit Jala in 1961 to study for the priesthood. In 1968 I left the seminary where I studied French, Latin, in addition to philosophy and theology. I came to the US in September of 1969 and entered Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey where I graduated with a B.A. in French & Spanish, and in 1975 I earned a master’s Degree from the University of Montclair in New Jersey.

George Khoury

George Khoury

I moved to California in 1975 where I taught foreign language at the high school level. I entered the Ph.D. program in theology in 1983 at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California and I obtained my doctorate degree in 1990. I have been teaching language at San Mateo College, Skyline College, and Westmoor High School. I joined the deaconate program in 2012 because I intend to serve the different Church communities as a deacon in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

After 21 years of not visiting or seeing Jerusalem and my homeland Palestine, I decided to go back, this time as an American citizen with an American passport, which I was granted in 1975. The trip was intended to be a religious pilgrimage with Father Bernard Poggi as well as a long overdue visit my homeland to see friends and family I hadn’t seen in decades. Once we arrived to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, they allowed Father Bernard to enter. When it came to me, I was ushered by a young female soldier to the “green room” for questioning.

The conversation that ensued is this:

An airport security agent (who I believe to be a Shin Bet agent) began:

Agent: “Oh so you came through Ben Gurion airport?”

Me: “Yes. What’s wrong with that?”

Agent: “You can’t do that.”

Me: “Why? I have an American passport. I came with father Bernard, to spend a few weeks in Jerusalem and that’s it. We are coming here on a religious pilgrimage and to visit some friends and family.”

Agent: “No no, you cannot go to Israel. You should have gone through the Allenby Bridge.”

Me: “Why should I do that? I’m not coming through as a Palestinian. I’m coming as an American citizen.”

Agent: “No. You are a Palestinian. Why are you denying that you’re a Palestinian?”

Me: “I’m not denying that I’m Palestinian. I am Palestinian from head to toe. My father is Palestinian. My mother is Palestinian. My brothers are Palestinian. My sister is Palestinian. My grandfather is an Orthodox priest and I can trace my Palestinian roots for the last 500 years. What do you mean I am denying? I am denying nothing.”

Agent: “No no, you belong with the Palestinian people. This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel. You should have gone through the Allenby Bridge.”

Me: “Why do you say that? Did I ever have a Palestinian passport? Did I ever live under the Palestinian authority? When the PA was constituted I was never in Palestine and I was never issued a Palestinian passport.”

Agent: “But you have an Israeli ID.” [He is referring to the Israeli ID issued to me after Israel began their occupation of the West Bank in 1967. I had an Israeli ID until I left for the US in 1969.]

Me: “An Israeli ID is not a Palestinian passport. The Israeli ID was issued to me when I was in Beit Jala when I was studying for the priesthood but you cannot equate that to a Palestinian passport. Juridically speaking, I was never a citizen of a country called Palestine. I am coming with an American passport and you should honor it.”

Agent: “How do you want me to honor your American passport? Do you want me to kiss it, to hug it, or to worship it? Moreover, you are rude and ill mannered. How did you get to be so rude? You are a Palestinian and you are rude and ill-mannered.”

Me: “I am neither rude nor ill-mannered I’m just stating the facts. I’m just telling you I’m an American, who has been an American citizen for the past 40 years and I’ve lived in America for 46 years. So you disregard all these legal facts and you only focus on my Palestinian heritage?”

Agent: “You will be deported to Jordan and come through the Allenby Bridge to continue your visit to the West Bank.” [The Allenby Bridge is the connection between Jordan and Israel. Palestinians can only enter the West Bank through this bridge because they are not allowed in through Israel proper.]

I returned to Father Bernard who was waiting for me. I told Father Bernard what happened with the Shin Beth agent and we waited. The man returned with the deportation papers and made me understand in the presence of Father Bernard that I will be deported to Jordan. I waited until two other security officers came to me and told me, “You will not be deported to Jordan but you should go back to where I came from.” [Fiumicino Airport, Italy]. I said, “But I was just told that I will be deported to Jordan.” They asked, “Who said that?”

I answered, “I don’t know his name. Did you think he told me his name? He’s the security man in the office who just had me sign deportation papers.” They said, “No, you have to go back to Italy first. If you then choose to come back to Jordan after landing in Italy then that is your choice.” I was shocked but had no choice but to go along with it. In front of the Israeli officials, Father Bernard gives me his Jordanian phone number and we agreed we would meet in Jordan the following day.

Bernard and I parted ways and I went back with the Israeli security officers. They kept me (and the others) in the airport until 1:30 am on July 21st. Eventually, they brought us a sandwich. Some of the others who were with me during the ordeal were a Palestinian woman and her daughter (who were Palestinian-born but US citizens). They had originally traveled with her two other sons but because the two boys were American born they were able to enter Israel. The Israeli officials told the two of them that they would be deported back to the US but they would be deported separately. They both broke down in tears and pleaded with them to at least allow them to be deported together but to no avail. There was also a young British woman who told me she was working with a human rights group in Israel, a Korean and a young Russian woman neither of whom spoke much English.

They drove us about half an hour away from the airport. In the car being driven by the Israelis, a young Korean who barely spoke any English, hungry, and penniless, asked the two guards in an extremely feeble voice and in bad English, “Are we going to die tonight?” We were being transported in a van with bars – made for prisoners. They held us like criminals in a detention facility they called emigration, which was anything but–and should have been called prison–until we were deported.

They locked us up, forbade me personally from keeping my iPhone, refused me to take a book with me to that filthy room and threw me there with a bunch of poor, hungry, and disoriented men from different national and ethnic backgrounds. The time was about 2 am.

We spent a whole Tuesday in the detention center not knowing when we would be leaving. I was locked up in that room with the other men. There was an Arab guard around the cell. I dared ask him “You know all of our names and everything about us. What is your name?” He said, “My name is George.” From his accent, he sounded like he was from Nazareth.” I asked him, “Why are you treating us like prisoners?” He said, “That’s just how it is.” He eventually let me use the phone to call my wife, Nariman, to tell her where I was. If I had the right to a phone call at the airport I was never told about it. The other guards remained totally anonymous, insulted us by using disrespectful and abusive language, and forbade us from speaking to one another from each other’s room separated by a long corridor. I didn’t sleep a wink because they kept the bright neon lights on the entire time.

At 4 am that morning, the guard came to tell me to get ready for my flight. He heard me speaking in Arabic to the Palestinian woman with her daughter who were held in the opposite room from where I was detained. When he came back that morning Samar’s mother was saying that maybe they were just roughing us up a bit but they really would eventually deport us to Jordan. He was very angry and yelled, “I told you not to talk to the others! I’m trying to respect you! Try to respect yourself. Get away from the door!”

Then around 8 am a guard came in the room and frantically took me saying that my plane was ready. Like a madman, he drove me to the airport and took me straight to the runway stairs rather than being taken through the airport.

Just as I was getting on the plane I asked, “Where exactly are you deporting me?”

He said, “Bogota.”

I said,“Bogota!? Why?!”

“Aren’t you Carlos?” he asked.

“No, I’m George Khoury! Let me see the passport in your hands,” I demanded. It belonged to a Colombian man named Carlos.

The guard realized his mistake and frantically raced me back to the detention center. The rough ride exacerbated my sciatic nerve badly and I’m still in great pain. We went back to the detention center, back into the cell. He called out for Carlos. Carlos was sleeping and woke up. He said, “I’m Carlos!” and he was taken away.

Without going into every detail, at 9:30 am on Wednesday they came back and picked me up. They drove me to the runway again and we waited for a long time, seemingly until the entire plane was boarded and ready. They walked me all the way up to moving stairs. Until this point, I was told I would be flying to Italy so that I could return to Jordan. At the moment before I entered the plane he held in his hand a set of tickets that would fly me all the way back to the US via Italy, then NY, then SF. The Italian agent told me that I would be given back my passport once he made sure that I was in the plane heading to the US. That’s exactly what happened. When I arrived to Italy, before I exited the plane, I asked the stewardess for my passport. She told me that it would be taken care of by a man waiting outside for me. An Italian officer was waiting for me at the top of the stairs. He took me in a jeep to an unknown location away from the airport – some kind of a police station. He put me in a room with about 5 or 6 people where our movement was restricted. At 5pm, I got on my flight heading to the states where I was handed my passport.

I arrived to New York around 8 pm that day. I would remain in the airport until the next morning where I boarded a 6am flight. The entire time I had my bag in my lap, trying to close my eyes for brief moments, sitting on a hard bench counting the minutes and the hours until flight time at 6 am all along holding on for dear life since the bag contained my insulin, my wallet and my iPhone. I am a diabetic and parting with my medicine would be fatal.

I arrived home exhausted on Thursday at 11:37 am. I called my travel agent to find out if I could be reimbursed for my stolen bag and the KLM return ticket I hadn’t used. He found out that those funds had already been used to pay for my deportation back to the US.

I’m back in San Francisco now. They took something that was suppose to be a vacation from my long work hours, a reconnection with my homeland and old friends, and made it a nightmare from hell. I was disrespected, demeaned and treated like I committed a crime. I tell you my story so as to encourage people to visit Palestine to challenge the thuggery of this racist entity and do it here in the USA as well as in Israel. Though somewhat extreme, this is is not a very unique story. Many other instances of Arab Americans being racially profiled by Israelis at any entry point into the Israeli state or West Bank have been documented. Harassment, detainment, and interrogations are part and parcel of the Israeli states’ efforts to keep Palestinians out of Israel-Palestine and bring more Jews in. It is my own US tax dollars—over 3 billion dollars of both economic and military aid—that finances the oppression of the Palestinian people. Without the US’s blind and unconditional financial and political support of the state of Israel, the occupation and all its tragedies against the Palestinians would not continue.

If you’d like to contact George Khoury, email Linda Khoury at [email protected].

90 Responses

  1. CigarGod
    July 29, 2015, 10:34 am

    Great story.
    It actually gives me hope.
    If Israel were a business it would collapse under the weight of its own absurdity.
    The most over-used and incorrectly used word in the world is – surreal – but it certainly applies to your experience.

  2. eljay
    July 29, 2015, 10:41 am

    Agent: “ … This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. … “

    No justice, accountability or equality – only Jewish supremacism in/and a supremacist “Jewish State”.

  3. just
    July 29, 2015, 11:01 am

    An astounding evil and abomination. Another in a long line of so many.

    Your Senators and Reps need to know your story asap, Mr. Khoury. So do all that you reach through your vocations. I am certainly going to share it widely.

    Boxer sponsored the Israel visa waiver legislation.

    From 2013:

    “… As a result, at the behest of Aipac, Democrat Barbara Boxer, joined by Republican Roy Blunt, has introduced a bill that would provide for Israel’s membership in the program while vesting it with a right that no other country in this program has: namely, the right to exclude selected Americans from this visa-free right of entrance. In other words, the bill sponsored by these American senators would exempt Israel from a requirement that applies to every other nation on the planet, for no reason other than to allow the Israeli government to engage in racial, ethnic and religious discrimination against US citizens. As Lara Friedman explained when the Senate bill was first introduced, it “takes the extraordinary step of seeking to change the current US law to create a special and unique exception for Israel in US immigration law.” In sum, it is as pure and blatant an example of prioritizing the interests of the Israeli government over the rights of US citizens as one can imagine, and it’s being pushed by Aipac and a cast of bipartisan senators.

    Israel’s religious- and ethnicity-based entrance exclusions of American citizens are so well-documented and pervasive that even the US State Department provides an official warning about it in its official travel advisory for Israel, noting:

    Some US citizens holding Israeli nationality, possessing a Palestinian identity card, or of Arab or Muslim origin have experienced significant difficulties in entering or exiting Israel or the West Bank.”

    link to theguardian.com

    Feinstein has supported the visa waiver program. Needless to say, I am fiercely opposed to it.

    There should never be treatment of people like this anywhere, by any of US ‘allies’. But as far as I know, never once has the US embassy come to the aid of any US citizen in any kind of distress caused by Israel. Thus, the US government is complicit in Israel’s treatment of its own citizens. Israel is not a civilized nation, nor a democracy~ but you already knew/know that.

    I am so sorry that you were treated to Israel’s unique and legendary form of terror at the gate, and missed your reunion and pilgrimage and vacation. I hope that you can spare some time from your hectic schedule now and then, and come back to visit MW where you’ll always be welcomed!

    Thank you, Mr. Khoury.

    • CigarGod
      July 29, 2015, 11:28 am

      Omg, Just.
      Didn’t know about that bill.

      • just
        July 29, 2015, 12:11 pm

        Yep. Quite a few articles here:

        “Iran politicking gets in the way of visa waivers for Israelis” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

        “Federal agencies express concerns about Israel’s entry into the Visa Waiver Program” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

        “Op-Ed: Sen. Schatz, the Israel visa waiver exemption bill promotes a process similar to Hawaii’s own history of colonization and exploitation” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

        “Senator Boxer’s far-fetched defense of the visa waiver exemption for Israel” – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

        There’s a few more in the archives.

        Wapo had this article from April 26, 2014:

        “Israel may be one of the closest and most important U.S. allies, but it isn’t part of a special group of countries that get preferred treatment for visas to enter the United States.

        Its request is tangled in civil liberties and U.S. immigration concerns, along with domestic U.S. politics. Now, however, pro-Israel members of Congress are tussling with the Obama administration over what many see as a double standard, and may be gaining ground.

        “Some things are hard just because it’s Israel,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.).

        Israel hasn’t met the criteria to join the U.S. visa-waiver program — particularly a requirement to treat all American visa applicants equally — and won’t be admitted until it does, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week. The courtesy extended to more than 35 nations allows short-term travel to the United States without a visa, freeing applicants from the delays, hassles and expense of securing that travel document.

        “Any country is required to meet those requirements in order to be considered,” and Israel will not get preferential treatment, Psaki said Tuesday.

        Palestinian Americans and other Americans of Arab descent complain that Israel subjects them to additional, often intrusive, scrutiny when they seek to visit family members or make other visits to Israel or the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

        “For decades, Israel has racially profiled U.S. citizens of Palestinian, Arab or Muslim descent attempting to enter the country,” said George Bisharat, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law.

        “As long as Israel discriminates against U.S. citizens on grounds of ethnicity or religion, it remains an inappropriate candidate for our visa-waiver program,” Bisharat said.

        It is primarily that unequal treatment that makes Israel ineligible for the program, according to the State Department. But the State Department and Department of Homeland Security also cite a pattern of young Israelis overstaying their visas or working illegally while in the United States, and a resulting rise in the numbers of Israelis refused a visa. …”

        more @ link to washingtonpost.com

      • amigo
        July 29, 2015, 12:22 pm

        WTF is this guy smoking!!.

        “Some things are hard just because it’s Israel,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

      • CigarGod
        July 29, 2015, 12:30 pm

        I know a lot of cavemen who have had successful careers just because they throw their bullying weight around. It might be quicker than gentle persuasion.

      • just
        July 29, 2015, 12:31 pm

        Ziosmokes. He’s Brad Sherman, after all. Ardent supporter of all things Israel. From wiki:

        “Sherman introduced legislation to exclusively allow Israel to be part of the visa waiver program, which would permit nationals from Israel to enter the US as temporary visitors for tourism or business for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa, without the conditions of reciprocity required for other nations. This led to criticism from some quarters that Sherman is insufficiently concerned with the rights of American citizens in contrast to those of Israeli citizens.[60]”

        From the Wapo article:

        “Even if there is a concern that a small segment of a group will violate their visas, this is no reason to have a policy of presumptively denying visas for an entire group of foreign nationals from one of our most important allies and global partners in the world,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote to Secretary of State John F. Kerry this month.

        Supporters of Israel have questioned whether Israel is being asked to meet an unrealistically high bar.

        “Those who dislike Israel are trying to argue that Israel is discriminatory. That is hardly the case. We have our no-fly list, and they have their no-fly list,” Sherman said.

        “The groups that hate Israel will call Israel racist automatically,” he said. “That’s the default position, and if they say it often enough, I guess some folks at the State Department will listen.”…

        … But sponsors, including Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), were stung by criticism that overriding the usual admission procedures for Israel amounted to endorsement of discrimination against Arab Americans.

        Another attempt is expected in the Senate soon, aided by recent assurances from the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it is looking at ways to change procedures for Arab Americans entering Israel.”

        And, as Mr. Khoury attests above, nothing has changed at all. c’est la vie.

    • amigo
      July 29, 2015, 11:49 am

      Just , that bill was passed but !!!,

      ” Congress passes watered-down bill on U.S.-Israel ties
      Bill doesn’t include Israel joining U.S. Visa Waiver Program, something Netanyahu, pro-Israel lawmakers pushed for during almost two years of legislative wrangling. “Haaretz

      link to haaretz.com

      My report was from dec 2014 .Not sure if it changed since.

      • just
        July 29, 2015, 12:13 pm

        I think it’s on the back- burner for the reasons cited above in the Wapo article, and perhaps because of Israel’s massacre last summer and its continued abuse of American citizens as detailed by Mr. Khoury… Israel expects everyone to accommodate them! They never try to change to meet even the lowest of bars. They are positively hopeless, and so are the legislators trying to push this garbage.

      • amigo
        July 29, 2015, 2:22 pm

        Just , thanks for the above updates.

        Given the present level of displeasure with Israel,s abuse of POTUS and attempts to interfere with US FP , I will not be surprised if it get,s even more opposition than before.It is certainly deserved.

    • TonyRiley
      August 19, 2015, 3:18 am

      Deemed “undesirable”, as is the right of all sovereign nations.

  4. Don
    July 29, 2015, 11:17 am

    You received your BA from Seton Hall University?

    I wonder if your Alma Mater’s

    Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies
    link to shu.edu

    would have an interest in making your experience a topic of discussion?

    I am guessing… probably not. See Marc Ellis on this point.

  5. amigo
    July 29, 2015, 11:39 am

    This story should be on every Mainstream tv and radio in the USA /Europe and the rest of the planet.

    Imagine this version of the same event, but it is a Jew at the receiving end of such fascist behaviour.

    Jewish visitor to Ireland,

    Irish Immigration official !!.

    This passport says you are Jewish.What are you doing at this airport?.

    J T,

    Why , what,s the problem.

    “This is Ireland and is only for Catholics.If you wish to visit here , you must go to the UK and travel through Northern Ireland and come in that way. Only Catholics are allowed to enter through this airport.Come with me.We will send you to London and you can fly or take a boat from there.”

    JT, But I have a valid Israeli passport.

    You are being rude and ill mannered.

    J T , you are an antisemite.

    No I am not . We have our rules and I just told you you cannot come in to Ireland through this airport.

    Two days later The Jewish traveler found himself getting on a plane to BG, and the next day the story hit the headlines on every media outlet on earth.

    • just
      July 29, 2015, 12:20 pm

      Well done, amigo.

      Thank you for making that effort.

      • Bornajoo
        July 30, 2015, 5:27 pm

        “Well done, amigo.

        Thank you for making that effort.”

        Great Amigo. You can only imagine just how much coverage this would get if this way around in your excellent analogy. This story needs to be read far and wide but it won’t and that’s the problem

        What a horrible experience George Khoury. Unfortunately I’m not surprised that this happened to you and many others because NOTHING that these crazy zionists do surprises me any more

        There was a multiple stabbing at the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem by the same Haredi lunatic who did the same thing 10 years ago. That didn’t surprise me either

    • Doubtom
      July 30, 2015, 5:27 pm

      That’s adding some perspective to this tale amigo…Well Done!

  6. justicewillprevail
    July 29, 2015, 12:02 pm

    This is a shocking story of abuse, even if one in a long line of similar stories. The arrogance and lawlessness of these petty functionaries in their fascist system is disgraceful. Why on earth should the US stand by and not act to ensure its own citizens have the right of passage which these appalling Israelis will enjoy should they come to the US? The open racism, the treatment of civilians as criminals, the callous disregard for their wellbeing and the looting of their personal possessions is symptomatic of a state utterly out of control. Just what are they scared of in a US priest coming for a holiday to their benighted country? What exactly do they think he will do that they treat him with such vile behaviour? He, whose family have far more right to inhabit and welcome visitors than these recent immigrants will ever have, represents the past they want to disown and bury. Deeming Palestinian as a racial category which transcends his US citizenship only exposes their racist views of everybody, and their state’s endorsement of apartheid.
    Yet, shamefully, the US allows this to happen. Its representatives are in thrall to this uniquely vile bureaucracy, and in doing so betray their own country and its citizens, as represented here by Father Koury. Every time i see that picture above it makes me shudder – the Orwellian, totalitarian appearance with the most sinister, ironic and plainly false ‘Welcome to Israel’ is a monument to their crushing inhumanity and blank indifference towards the world at large.

  7. amigo
    July 29, 2015, 1:02 pm

    “Welcome to Israel”.

    Well , that is one sign I would not spend one shekel to see.

    I might live long enough to visit “Palisrael” when justice and equality are called for in a constitution that treats ALL citizens the same and as someone else remarked (RoHa ?) , that will be one helluva party.Hopefully most of the original Arabic names of streets and villages will have been restored.

    Out with Zionism and in with democracy. The ironic part is , that most future Jewish “Palisraelis” will thank those who freed them from the prison of Jewish Israeli exceptionalism / elitism and supremacism and curse those who destroyed the Jewish state by never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

    • just
      July 29, 2015, 1:34 pm

      Agree 100%.

      (I’d dearly love to revisit Palestine, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem though)

    • amigo
      July 29, 2015, 2:16 pm

      Thanks to whomever corrected my error in above post.

    • funsdead
      July 29, 2015, 2:48 pm

      where is the child to tell the emperor
      “He has no clothes”

  8. Cal3bg
    July 29, 2015, 1:13 pm

    What a shining example of “the one true democracy in the Middle East.” Smh

  9. funsdead
    July 29, 2015, 2:40 pm

    last time i traveled through the airport in 04..went through hell, but eventually let in.
    your long departure was probably the reason for the harassment to let you know who is in charge and this place is not for you.
    last few times i went, it was through Jordan, visited friends before going in.
    that was worse than the airport.
    my exchange got so bad with an IOF gril from Ethiopia, she almost burst to tears.

    asking me where i was from? i answered here with ‘ i am from inside the fence you have put up, where the hell are you from? im always coming back”

    she ran off and another IOF guy with face covered and gun strapped to his waist came and took me to a room, had me remove my clothes and walk through a detector.

    thought for sure this isn’t going to go well. he stated such things as “America is better than here, why would come here?” which i replied why don’t you go to America then.

    after 4-5 hours of answering the same questions they asked the multiple times before, he gave me my things and said you can go in.

    waited in line, when i got finally got the passport stamped for 3 months, another IOF soldier came and took my passport, he came back in about 10 minutes and showed me that the 3 months was crossed out and 7 days was hand written, and that’s all the time i had.

    George, your story is one of only 1000’s upon 1000’s, its all about harassment and to show whose the boss.

    i could fill a library with the things i have gone through, from checkpoints to seeing the abuse that are handed out daily to the Palestinians.

    last time i went i got the 3 months, but also an “AR” written next to the stamp, and was told to go to some building in Jerusalem to give up my right to isreali citizenship, which i said i would do 1st thing. of course i never did.

    George don’t give up, that’s what they want.

    • just
      July 29, 2015, 7:22 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing your own story, funsdead.

      You’ve got gumption, pep, style, sumud, and are seriously boldly funny in the face of such evil.

  10. German Lefty
    July 29, 2015, 4:08 pm

    Headline of an Haaretz article:
    Three-quarters of North America Jewish college students exposed to anti-Semitism, new study reports
    In the article, it says:
    “The survey, entitled ‘Antisemitism and the College Campus: Perceptions and Realities,’ is based on a random sample of 12,049 American and Canadian undergraduate college students who applied to go on a ten-day educational Israel experience with Taglit-Birthright Israel. […] More than three-quarters [of respondents] defined opposition to Israel’s existence as anti-Semitism.
    link to haaretz.com

    Clearly, this survey is total Zionist propaganda. When you only ask Birthright participants, who are more Zionist than non-participants and who are much more likely to misinterpret anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism, then it’s logical that the survey finds a very high percentage of “anti-Semitism”.

    • Keith
      July 29, 2015, 7:30 pm

      GERMAN LEFTY- “More than three-quarters [of respondents] defined opposition to Israel’s existence as anti-Semitism.”

      Apparently the definition of the new anti-Semitism is anybody (but primarily a Gentile) doing anything which gets a Jew miffed.

    • K Renner
      July 30, 2015, 11:23 am

      ” to go on a ten-day educational Israel experience with Taglit-Birthright Israel. ”

      And as soon as you hear that much, you really just know that the “findings” will be absolutely worthless beyond any doubt.

      These are people who think that saying “why do you get to return when the Palestinians cannot?” is racist incitement on par with what you’d see in some kind of National Socialist racial propaganda outlet. Absolutely mental, in other words.

      The good news is that accusations of “anti-Semitism” from people who’re clearly just trying to shield Israel and Zionism from anything even slightly critical are only going to end up becoming more and more farcical.

      Already it’s kind of a big joke. You see pro-Israel types whining about how “everyone says that Jews just apply anti-Semitism at the drop of a pin” and then going on about how that’s “anti-Semitism” in itself.

  11. RoHa
    July 29, 2015, 6:48 pm

    Calm down, people.

    I’m sure hophmi or Doublestandard or someone will be along any minute to explain how justified and reasonable it is.

    • Susan A
      July 30, 2015, 6:42 am

      RoHa: I was about to note that none of our Zio friends had come on to defend this.
      NB. I am NOT Susie Abhulhawa, in case there’s any confusion here!
      Yes, it’s appalling that she too has been denied entry :(
      I thought Amigo’s analogy above was excellent; we can all use that……..

      • RoHa
        July 30, 2015, 7:25 am

        They’ll be here soon. Probably just held up in traffic.

    • K Renner
      July 30, 2015, 12:09 pm

      It’s interesting how this is often what the Hasbarat, across the board, is reduced to doing– and with some whackadoo expectation that people will lap it up with gusto and pretend that it’s all well and good.

      But these are people who can be born in the early 1990s and accuse pro-Palestinian Jews who are Holocaust survivors of being “self hating” or something equally ridiculous/asinine.

      Reality just isn’t something that factors in, it would appear.

  12. Bumblebye
    July 29, 2015, 7:17 pm

    I read Mr Khoury’s story a few days ago. In the same place – a fb page – it has just gone up (last few mins as I pummel the screenboard) that the same has happened to Susan Abulhawa. Today.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 29, 2015, 7:19 pm

      the same has happened to Susan Abulhawa. Today.

      oh susie, that’s so sad. i’m in the middle of reading her new book right now, it’s fantastic. review coming soon.

      do you have a FB link bumblebye?

      • just
        July 29, 2015, 7:26 pm

        I found this, Annie and Bumblebye:

        “Denied entry to my homeland by a bunch of fucking Zionist colonizers who didn’t think I was sufficiently differential. Livid.”

        link to twitter.com

        Horrible. So freaking furious with you in solidarity, Susan A.

      • Bumblebye
        July 29, 2015, 7:28 pm

        I don’t know how to do it from the app thingy annie!
        The page is called “The Truth – Muslims, Christians and Jews Together for Palestine” and just shows photo of her passport, two thick red lines thru Allenby Bridge stamps.

      • JennieS
        July 29, 2015, 11:09 pm

        Here you go Annie link to facebook.com

        I only have a Facebook page for things like this.

      • Annie Robbins
        July 30, 2015, 12:10 am

        thank you just and jennie. after just’s tweet and found susie’s feed and retweeted some of them earlier. jennie, FB won’t let me open your link but this is one of susie’s tweets i was able to open and read (and RT’d) — assuming it’s the same?

  13. just
    July 29, 2015, 7:41 pm

    “denied. denied.”

    link to twitter.com

  14. JennieS
    July 29, 2015, 11:14 pm

    Agent: “No no, you belong with the Palestinian people. This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel. You should have gone through the Allenby Bridge.”

    But, but, but Palestinians don’t exist. Make up your minds ziofools.

  15. JLewisDickerson
    July 29, 2015, 11:27 pm

    RE: “A Palestinian-American’s story of being detained at Ben Gurion airport”

    GET READY, BECAUSE IT’S COMING TO A U.S. AIRPORT NEAR YOU:
    “Boston airport security program rife with racial profiling has Israeli links”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss, 8/14/12

    [EXCERPTS] Security officers at Boston’s Logan International Airport have come under fire for the widespread racial profiling of Arabs, Muslims, Blacks and Hispanics in their zeal to ferret out terrorists.
    The ‘New York Times’ broke the story over the weekend after officers who requested anonymity came forward;
    some officers have complained internally to the Transportation Security Agency as well. A Massachusetts lawmaker has called for congressional hearings on the racial profiling allegations.
    The ‘Times’ reports that officers estimated that “80 percent” of passengers “searched during certain shifts” were people of color. What’s more, the Boston airport “is the testing ground for an expanded use of behavioral detection methods at airports around the country.”
    But what’s not touched on in the ‘Times’ report is the fact that Logan International’s security procedures are modeled on Israel’s policies at their own airport–policies that are blatantly racist. . .

    . . . The Israel connection is integral to understanding Boston’s racial profiling problems. In 2009, according to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jerusalem Post reported that “Boston’s Logan Airport has tapped the Israeli company New Age Security Solutions to help secure the facility using Behavior Pattern Recognition.” . . .
    . . . It took until August 2011 for the Israeli-inspired model to be operationalized. That was the date when the “behavioral profiling” became an official model at Boston’s airport–and this was “a direct result” of “Israeli influence” on security procedures at the airport
    , according to the Associated Press.
    Fast-forward to the New York Times story. The ‘Times’ reports that one anonymous TSA officer complained that this “behavior detection program is no longer a behavior-based program, but [rather] a racial profiling program.”
    To observers of how Israeli security works at Ben Gurion Airport, the allegations of racial profiling will come as no surprise. Palestinian and Arab travelers at Ben Gurion are guaranteed to be harassed by Israeli security. . .

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to mondoweiss.net

    • CigarGod
      July 30, 2015, 8:19 am

      Salesmen!
      These guys use the same scare tactics as politicians.
      They probably sent them on holiday to Hawaii, too. I mean, Israel.

  16. RoHa
    July 30, 2015, 1:16 am

    Incidentally, while we are waiting for an Israel supporter to explain that this treatment of visitors is a historically necessary justice and so much better than the way they do it in Somalia, could someone please tell me exactly where in the airport one can see the terrifying facade shown in the picture?

    • amigo
      July 30, 2015, 8:22 am

      “could someone please tell me exactly where in the airport one can see the terrifying facade shown in the picture?”RoHa

      There is a “Y” junction before you get to that. Jews to the right and goyim to the left. Welcomes are only reserved for Jews making aliyah or on Birthright trips or returning from holidays/business trips .

      Yahweh help you, if you choose the wrong direction.

      • RoHa
        July 30, 2015, 8:31 am

        I’m going to have to find a map of the airport to see where that is. Not that I want to see it. It looks like the lair of Ming the Merciless or some similar technovillain .

    • Jedidiah
      July 31, 2015, 1:56 pm

      Some of those “visitors” have been violent and tended to hijack plans and blow themselves up. I expect to get the 3rd degree if I’m ever in Ben Gurion.

      That said, all of the nonsense should have stopped the moment a US passport was seen. Basically the customs agent should have “kissed it” and “worshiped it”. Once he’s one of us he’s one of us and none of the rest of us should take these slights lightly.

  17. Basilio
    July 30, 2015, 7:59 am

    Well, I visited Ben Gurion airport two years ago from Istanbul. I was kept at the airport for 6 hours. My situation was somewhat different, because I was born in Canada. I don’t have an Israeli ID. Of course, they could have still deported me, and they were thinking about it, I think. However, I was calm and answered calmly, and after 6 hours they let me in.

    • eljay
      July 30, 2015, 8:09 am

      || Basilio: Well, I visited Ben Gurion airport two years ago from Istanbul. I was kept at the airport for 6 hours. My situation was somewhat different, because I was born in Canada. … ||

      Curious: Was the six-hour delay due to the fact that you were born in Canada or that you arrived from Istanbul? Or was there some other *ahem* “reasonable” explanation?

  18. RobertHenryEller
    July 30, 2015, 8:32 am

    I would love to be able to bar Israelis from travel to the United States.

    “This is for Americans.”

    Imagine the screaming, the whining, the exploding heads, the cries of injustice, the bullshit.

    • eljay
      July 30, 2015, 9:03 am

      || RobertHenryEller: I would love to be able to bar Israelis from travel to the United States. “This is for Americans.” … ||

      America for Americans makes sense. Israel for Israelis makes sense. Israel for Jews is…what’s the word? Oh, that’s it: Supremacist.

    • Kay24
      July 30, 2015, 4:54 pm

      They would howl it was anti-semitic in true dramatic fashion. They pounce on any situation to portray themselves as being picked on, it must help to keep the victim narrative going.

    • Marnie
      July 31, 2015, 1:54 am

      That would be justice.

  19. catalan
    July 30, 2015, 8:40 am

    Not good. Israel is becoming the Germany of the Middle East, cold, bureaucratic, arrogant.
    It seems to me that unless things there change, and fast, American support will completely erode. I don’t think anyone is blameless; but it just breaks my heart to see a people so blind and deaf to the upcoming disaster. What is one to do?

    • German Lefty
      July 30, 2015, 5:20 pm

      “Israel is becoming the Germany of the Middle East, cold, bureaucratic, arrogant.”

      If you seriously believe that Germany is worse than Israel, then you have a screw loose. What’s wrong with you?

      • Jedidiah
        July 31, 2015, 2:02 pm

        Perhaps he’s visited. I could easily see Americans being shocked by little things that Germans would take for granted. The same probably goes for a lot of the rest of Europe.

      • CigarGod
        July 31, 2015, 3:17 pm

        I have never had any trouble getting into germany. Always waved thru by just holding up my passport. Going thru with rifle cases, only means going thru another room for a quick check.

      • German Lefty
        July 31, 2015, 4:06 pm

        @ Jedidiah
        Catalan just has an irrational hatred of Germany.

        @ CigarGod
        Why would you take rifle cases to Germany? Or was this some kind of joke?

      • CigarGod
        July 31, 2015, 6:08 pm

        No joke.
        Competition.

      • German Lefty
        July 31, 2015, 6:39 pm

        So, there’s a rifle case competition!? Who has the most beautiful case?

  20. amigo
    July 30, 2015, 8:50 am

    A suggestion for Father Khoury.

    Contact “Trip advisor” and place an advisory on visiting Israel . Eg, “Avoid , avoid “.Natives unfriendly , rude and are prone to theft.They also spit at visitors and tried to force women to sit at the back of a bus.

    link to haaretz.com

    link to dailymail.co.uk

  21. Rashers2
    July 30, 2015, 9:19 am

    Dr. Khoury’s experiences almost defy characterisation, the behaviour meted out to him (and to his fellow-deportees) best described as obscene! Israel is a nasty, racist, supremacist country suffering from a collective sociopathy which is more dangerous in the long term than any of the other myriad threats and problems of the region. There is an awful stench, when one asks oneself just why the Israelis behave as badly as they do, of the “because they can” impunity of the Stalinists or the Nazis.
    I’m more than sorry at the treatment of Dr. Khoury who, if my arithmetic is correct, is now a gentleman of 70 years old! I’m not of Palestinian or Arab descent but am daunted by the prospect of trying to visit either Gaza or the OWB.

  22. Andrew Pollack
    July 30, 2015, 9:31 am

    A horrifying but all too typical story. Thanks for your strength, George.

    Regarding this: “I tell you my story so as to encourage people to visit Palestine to challenge the thuggery of this racist entity and do it here in the USA as well as in Israel…”
    A wonderful way to do that is via the political tours described here:
    link to grassrootsalquds.net

  23. DoubleStandard
    July 30, 2015, 12:35 pm

    Correct me if I am wrong, but Israel and the US do not have an automatic visa agreement. You are not automatically entitled to enter Israel because you have an American passport, just as an Israeli cannot automatically enter the US with an Israeli passport.

    Mr. Kourey did not get a visa from the Israeli consulate in the US, and thought that just because he had an American passport he was “entitled” to enter the country. Well, not so.

    Even from Father Kourey’s own testimony here, he basically just started waiving the American passport in their face and throwing a temper tantrum.

    “Agent: “No no, you belong with the Palestinian people. This is our Israel, this is for the Jews.””

    No Israeli talks like this. This story has BS written all over it.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 30, 2015, 4:12 pm

      No Israeli talks like this.

      it gets a lot worse than that actually.

    • just
      July 30, 2015, 4:26 pm

      Could you at least show some respect and spell Dr. George Khoury’s name properly?

      Oh, that’s right~ you don’t do respect, just like your ‘agents’.

    • Kris
      July 30, 2015, 4:51 pm

      @DoubleStandard: “No Israeli talks like this. This story has BS written all over it.”

      Uh, huh. There are many thousands of news reports of Jewish Israelis spewing racist and hateful tirades at non-Jews. For example, on July 28, 2015:

      A number of Israeli extremists attacked, on Tuesday at noon, an elderly Palestinian woman while walking near the Maali Zeiteim illegal colony, in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, in Silwan town in occupied East Jerusalem.

      Medical sources said Sara Nibali, 85, suffered various cuts and bruises, after the fanatics assaulted while shouting and cursing at her.

      The woman was walking, along with her son, when four Israeli settlers started shouting and insulting them, before one of them approached the woman and beat her on her arms and shoulders.

      She was moved to the al-Makassed Islamic Hospital for treatment.

      The police arrived at the scene, and started pushing and attacking local Palestinian youths that gathered after the fanatics assaulted the elderly women.

      The police also attacked another woman walking nearby. link to imemc.org

    • amigo
      July 30, 2015, 4:56 pm

      “No Israeli talks like this. This story has BS written all over it. ” DS-

      Really ??. They spit at foreigners, they force women to sit at the back of the bus ,they refuse to sit next to women on intl flights, they rob and steal other peoples land.They run around shouting “death to Arabs.I could go on but suffice it to say, your story is full of BS.

      Nothing new there hasbarat. I pity you DS , spending your life defending a lost cause.Can,t you find a more rewarding career choice.

    • Kay24
      July 30, 2015, 5:02 pm

      No? Try again.

      “Racism in Israel refers to all forms and manifestations of racism experienced in Israel, irrespective of the colour or creed of the perpetrator and victim, or their citizenship, residency, or visitor status.

      More specifically in the Israeli context, however, racism in Israel refers to racism directed against Israeli Arabs by Israeli Jews,[1] intra-Jewish racism between the various Jewish ethnic divisions (in particular against Ethiopian Jews,[2] and to historic and alleged current racism towards Mizrahi Jews and other Jews of colour), and racism on the part of Israeli Arabs against Israeli Jews.

      Racism against Arabs in Israel exist in institutional policies, personal attitudes, the media, education, immigration rights, housing,[3] social life and legal policies. Some elements within the Ashkenazi Israeli Jewish population have also been described as holding discriminatory attitudes towards fellow Jews of other backgrounds, including against Ethiopian Jews, Indian Jews, Mizrahi Jews, Sephardi Jews, etc”

      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • just
      July 30, 2015, 5:12 pm
      • Annie Robbins
        July 30, 2015, 7:46 pm

        and who could forget You’ll all be our slaves, if you’re worthy, if you behave well’ – See more at: link to mondoweiss.net

        link to youtube.com

      • Kay24
        July 30, 2015, 10:01 pm

        She seems off her meds and totally ignorant of facts.

      • just
        July 30, 2015, 11:02 pm

        link to youtube.com

        Yes, Kay24. I don’t think she’ll ever comprehend it.

        (Seized the opportunity! Only wanted to hear Roger Waters this moment. The song is far deeper, I fear.)

      • Annie Robbins
        July 31, 2015, 1:48 am

        waters — a giant

    • eljay
      July 30, 2015, 5:21 pm

      || DoubleStandard: … No Israeli talks like this. This story has BS written all over it. ||

      Actually, it has DS written all over it: Every Zio-supremacists says Israel belongs to all Jews.

    • tree
      July 30, 2015, 5:41 pm

      Ran across this from a comment left on Glenn Greenwald’s piece in the Intercept today:

      link to youtube.com

      excerpts of a talk by David Sheen on Israeli racism. An individual in the audience insists that it is only the “extremists” that are racists. Great response from Sheen.

      • just
        July 30, 2015, 5:54 pm

        Thanks for that, tree!

        David Sheen has been and is tireless and passionate in his work to expose, document, and try to combat the racism that is, unfortunately, endemic in Israel.

      • Marnie
        July 31, 2015, 5:45 am

        David Sheen’s explanation to the two older guys was respectful, deliberate and so undeniably right.

      • Chu
        July 31, 2015, 9:13 am

        Often all it takes is for someone to provide a well measured response as Sheen does here.

    • justicewillprevail
      July 30, 2015, 6:16 pm

      Let’s see: we have to believe either the word of Dr Khoury, documented in meticulous detail and with eloquent passion , or the blatherings of an anonymous teenage troll who lives an apparently sheltered life, never having heard the typical insults of many Israelis. And one who is blithely unaware of the entry requirements at Ben Gurion. Perhaps it escaped his notice that the Dr’s companion was allowed entry with the same documents.

    • straightline
      July 30, 2015, 6:24 pm

      This is interesting. The Israeli government website says that US citizens do not require a visa to enter Israel – they are “exempted”.

      link to mfa.gov.il

      But the US State Dept says this:

      Palestinian-Americans: The Government of Israel considers travelers who hold PA IDs, as well as persons believed to have claim to a PA ID by virtue of ancestry, to be Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza, regardless of whether they also hold U.S. citizenship. Israeli authorities consider anyone who has parents or grandparents who were born or lived in the West Bank or Gaza to have a claim to a PA ID.

      This is why Israel is not in the visa waiver program. It would be a double standard if Israel were to be allowed to enter that program with those conditions of entry.

      • Jedidiah
        July 31, 2015, 2:06 pm

        IOW, a little research might have averted this tragedy. My wife has the same problem with trying to visit the old country. They won’t even grant a visa and we’re not sure what they would do if she “just showed up” and really don’t want to experiment with something like that.

    • Mooser
      July 30, 2015, 6:52 pm

      “No Israeli talks like this.”

      Squelch! Ewwww, what’s that smell? Oh, I see, “DoubleStandard” saw a big steaming fresh pile, and he couldn’t resist jumping in with both feet!

      You tell ’em, DS. Over in Zion, they’re all aidel gepotchket, and they don’t talk like plyoots! They’re so refined, they’re refinnicky!

    • Marnie
      July 31, 2015, 5:47 am

      Actually, a lot of Israelis talk like this and worse. You don’t believe it? So what?

  24. ejran
    July 31, 2015, 6:54 am

    This is horrific.
    And I’m tired to tears of condemning this in words, of reading about this happening over and over again, while more unspeakable evil is being committed against the Palestinians. The world must know. Israel gets away with way too much. Every American must know. What does it take to justify this? How, just how, can one grow up and make excuses for Israel? What kind of brainwash makes this possible? What kind of thinking and education can make one think of other human beings as animals to be crushed?
    The world is silent.
    I want to do something. This makes me cry.

  25. GregN
    August 4, 2015, 3:28 pm

    I can imagine his frustration. I found it hard crossing after being in Syria before it all kicked off and I used the Allenby bridge. I definitely recommend though you take the time if you can to visit Jerusalem. At least spend a day and go to Damascus Gate and get the Arab bus to Bethlehem and visit the West Bank and see for yourself too as it isn’t what you expect from reading the newspapers. All I found was incredible history and fantastically friendly people considering the daily grind they go through. This incident in the article happened once. Imagined if it happened every day you went to work. If you can’t visit then do a google image search on “Bethlehem check point wall” to see a Palestinians reward for not firing rockets. People will not put up with and do not deserve to live like this for as long as it has been happening. I’m surprised we don’t read more stories of people going off their rocker the same as they do in the US as daily life in the West Bank would be ten times more frustrating.

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