Category Archives:
Ben Gurion Airport

Palestinian-American denied entry to West Bank for summer skateboard program

Abu Rahss on

Hip-hop artist Abu Rahss is denied from entering Israel in order to be a counselor a skateboarding summer camp: “Unfortunately, I was denied entry after eight hours of being interrogated aggressively and treated unpleasantly by Israeli border security at the Allenby Bridge border crossing with Jordan.”

Rights group: Strip searches at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport are illegal

Allison Deger on

For Arab travelers through Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, it is common knowledge that lengthy questioning and strip searches come before boarding. As it turns out, forcing passengers into airport back rooms and requiring them to remove clothing is illegal under Israeli law, says legal rights group Adalah.

Israel bans entry for two more US activists

Wilson Dizard on

Israel has banned an American activist who has worked for years helping Palestinians in Gaza, after denying her entry into the country, detaining her for hours and deporting her against her will. The woman’s ban comes after Israel banned five U.S. citizens at the border in July, all of them the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, and another American woman last week crossing from Jordan.

Deporting Solidarity: One activist’s experience being detained in Ben Gurion airport

Moara Crivelente on

Moara Crivelente, Brazilian journalist and activist, reports on her detainment and deportation at the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport: “Scattered inscriptions written with toothpaste and food on the bunks and walls of an Israeli facility at the Ministry of Interior Population, Immigration and Borders Authority (PIBA) declare: ‘for each International Solidarity Movement you deport back home, ten more will come!’ Me and many before me read those words as we waited for our deportation. After hours of interrogation at the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, we received a 10-year ban from entering the State of Israel for ‘security reasons.’ With no further explanation, we were declared a threat.”

Five US citizens detained, interrogated, denied entry to Israel

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation on

On July 17, 2016, a group of young American delegates traveled to Israel-Palestine in order to observe the conditions under which Palestinians live, and to gain a better understanding of the situation on the ground. Upon their arrival, a US Campaign staffer and four other members of the group — all carrying US passports — were interrogated by Israeli border police about their backgrounds and political involvement. Four of the five delegates who were questioned, held, and denied entry were people of color and Muslim, and the fifth had a long beard. Israel has ethnically and religiously profiled visitors so often that the State Department’s travel advisory for Israel reads: “Some US citizens of Arab or Muslim heritage not on the Palestinian Population Registry or otherwise prohibited from entering Israel have experienced significant difficulties and unequal and hostile treatment at Israel’s borders and checkpoints.”

My one word interrogation at Ben Gurion airport

Adam Horowitz on

Ben Gurion Airport is known for nightmarish stories of harassment and humiliation. But when Adam Horowitz, an American Jew, enters Israeli border control, he is barely asked a question.

‘Come and see!’ (and you will understand)

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey DeYoe on

On an American Christian trip to the occupied territories, Rev. Jeffrey DeYoe’s group picks olives, meets highly-educated Palestinians and sees that they don’t even have the right to demonstrate against the occupation.

Israel vs the Violin

Tom Suarez on

This past semester Tom Suarez was the violin and viola teacher at the Gaza branch of Palestine’s National Conservatory of Music—”though I never met my students, because Israel blocked me from entering the coastal strip. So I taught by Skype from the West Bank as best I could”

‘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

George Khoury on

George Khoury tells a harrowing story of being detained and deported from Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. Khoury, an American citizen, was attempting to visit his homeland for the first time in 21 years. Even though he was traveling with an American passport an airport security agent told him, “You belong with the Palestinian people. This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel.”

Night of horror at Ben Gurion airport for two French music students

Philomène Constant and Bastien Anthoine on

On April 19, two French music students were held overnight at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport and humiliated, interrogated, strip-searched, and then deported all because their destination was Palestine, where they had previously taught music. The authors relate their story in order to oppose the “violation of intimacy, psychological torture, dehumanization, racism, theft, trauma” that often greet travelers at Ben Gurion.

Like the Wind, We Will Be Free: How being detained at Ben Gurion airport during a family trip to Palestine reaffirmed my identity

Samah Assad on

Samah Assad was detained in Ben Gurion airport as she visited her family home in Palestine for the first time in 13 years. Upset and angry, she asked her father how he can deal with the discrimination and abuse year and year when he visits. His answer: “When we return every year, that is how we fight. If we keep returning, we show them that this is our home. And we’re not giving it up.”

Entry Denied

Julia Carmel on

Julia Carmel describes her experience being denied entry to Israel/Palestine this summer where she planned to study Arabic in Beit Sahour.

Palestinian-American teen denied access to Israel’s airport

Allison Deger on

A Palestinian-American teenager was denied from exiting Israel via Ben Gurion airport and told she must travel through the land crossing with Jordan. While detained she learned, to her surprise Israeli security no longer considered her an American citizen with American travel privileges. The Palestinian identification card her family filed for her the year before, a registry requirement for children of West Bank Palestinian ID holders, erases her rights as a U.S. citizen.

‘Nobody knew where I was, nobody… I was simply disappeared’: An Italian tourist’s Ben Gurion nightmare

Andrea Pesce on

Andrea Pesce is a 44-year-old Italian tourist who flew to Ben Gurion airport on his way to a month-long vacation in Bethlehem. He expected the routine security checks the Israeli airport is known for, but he never could have anticipated what was in store for him. He writes after finding out his entry to Israel/Palestine was denied: “I was told that I was going to stay in a separate facility, waiting for the flight back to Italy. This is the beginning of the nightmare.”

‘The bra is a security threat’: Harassment and interrogation at Ben Gurion airport

Anonymous on

Here is yet another story of a Palestinian being harassed while trying to travel through Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport. Anonymous lives in Berkeley, her father is Palestinian and her mother is Jewish. Here she recounts how she was interrogated and strip searched while trying to leave Israel/Palestine after visiting family in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, “I had been mistreated, combed out of the crowd and profiled, my time wasted and my dignity subsequently stepped all over without a second thought. I had been treated like a criminal for having an identity that I was born into, told explicitly in each of these actions that I did not belong here and had no place here at all as a person with Palestinian heritage. Harassed and picked out from the rest because of my name, my history, the assumptions that go with them, and my very intention to visit my family, many of who cannot visit me in the USA.”

Arab-American Institute documents discrimination, harassment of US Muslims at Israeli borders

Alex Kane on

After ‘confirming she was a Muslim’, Israeli authorities interrogated an American graduate student for 8 hours and strip-searched her multiple times, according to a report by the Arab-American Institute, a collection of stories from American citizens who say they were harassed, detained or deported when trying to enter Israel. The stories were published as the battle over legislation granting Israelis visa-free entry to the U.S. heats up. One of the incidents documented was the 2006 case of the Iranian-American graduate student who had top security clearance in the US.

Never Surrender: A Palestinian-American recounts harassment and discrimination during trip to Israel/Palestine

Moe Diab on

Moe Diab (above) is a 25-year-old Palestinian-American, born and raised in San Diego, California. He was raised to be proud of his Palestinian heritage and culture, and to be conscious of the daily Palestinian struggles against oppression. Diab’s American upbringing instilled in him an appreciation for freedom, liberty, justice and equality. He never truly understood the significance of universal human rights in his daily American life, but became well aware of them during a trip to Israel/Palestine when Israeli authorities stripped these so-called inalienable rights away from him.