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Ben Gurion Airport

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.

‘I know you have another email address, give it to me’ (Deported at Ben Gurion)

Frank Barat on

Yet another Palestinian solidarity activist is questioned for hours on entering Israel and refused entry to the occupied territories. Frank Barat, a coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, had wanted to visit friends in the West Bank. But Israeli security officials demanded he open his email account, so they could see whom he was in touch with. Barat gave a second email account. His story follows

Just another Shin Bet interrogation

Awad Abdel Fattah on

Balad’s Secretary General Awad Abdel Fattah recounts a heated exchange he had with a Shin Bet agent as he attempted to return to Israel/Palestine from Amman, Jordan.

‘Do you know any Arabs in London?’ Israeli airport authorities grill British photojournalist before kicking him out

Mark Kerrison on

Mark Kerrison was detained at Ben Gurion airport and then deported earlier this month for reasons that were never explained, though border officials seemed very concerned that he might talk to Palestinians. Here he relates his ordeal, including one comfort he had in jail: “My eyes were most drawn, though, to some words in small, inconspicuous lettering immediately above my head: ‘I don’t pretend to know night-time from day, but if I were your God I’d have something to say.’”

American teacher denied entry to Palestine calls on Obama to address Israel’s Jim Crow policies

Philip Weiss on

Nour Joudah, 25, was a teacher at a Friends School in Ramallah that is funded by the US government– that is, until Israeli border authorities twice prevented her from returning to her 90 students after winter break. In a letter to the president, she urges him to address Israel’s discriminatory treatment of Arab-Americans during his visit to Israel and Palestine later this week

Denied entry by Israel, American teacher prepares to say goodbye to Palestinian students

Philip Weiss on

Here is an important story from Palestine: Nour Joudah, 25, a Palestinian-American masters graduate of Georgetown who teaches at the Friends School in Ramallah was denied entry into Israel on Monday. This is the second time in two months Israel has stopped Joudah from going back to her classes in Palestine. In a heartbreaking goodbye to her students Joudah writes, “I’ll always be your teacher. The Israelis can’t take that from me or from you . . Remember – just because I lost this small fight now, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth fighting – and it doesn’t mean the larger fight is over. Never let anyone keep you from living in your country.”

100 hours in Israeli detention for trying to visit Bethlehem

Adam Horowitz on

“What is your father’s name?” “James.” “What is his father’s name?” “Andrew.” “Where are you going?” “Bethlehem.” “Where are you staying there?” “At the Lajee Center in Aida Refugee Camp.”  That is as far as my conversation at Israeli passport control goes.  I am at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, one of dozens of […]

An Israeli welcome

Philip Weiss on

The episode of the ‘flytilla’ and the treatment meted out to those who managed to reach Ben Gurion airport brought to mind the experience of someone I first met 3 years ago.  H is from a western country and before her retirement she had a long career as a nurse. She is a firm Christian […]

‘Flytilla’ protest rocks the Israeli status quo in a sacred place – the airport

Elinor Amit on

A report over the weekend in Maariv said that IDF special forces went on a flight from Geneva in Ben-Gurion Airport to sort the passengers between “pro Palestinian activists” and the rest of the passengers. Eventually, they deported 25 people. This is only one of many events that took place as over 600 peace activists […]

Ben Gurion Airport showcases the normalization of apartheid in Israel/Palestine

Dimi Reider on

This post originally appeared on +972. Reider adds that he’s not sure how long the process described below has been in place. Israel responded to the “flytilla” with a wildly disproportionate deployment of police and extraordinary security checks. But Palestinian citizens of Israel are discriminated at the Ben Gurion Airport on an hourly basis – […]

Netanyahu: Effort to travel to the occupied territories through Ben Gurion Airport is ‘an effort to undermine Israel’s right to exist’

Adam Horowitz on

The Israeli government has redeployed some of its flotilla hyperbole arsenal in preparation for the upcoming “Welcome to Palestine” campaign. During this initiative activists are flying to Ben Gurion airport and announcing their intention to travel to the West Bank when interviewed at passport control. Benjamin Netenyahu has said this simple act constitutes “a continuation […]

Challenging Israeli apartheid, starting at Ben Gurion Airport

Adam Horowitz on

From July 8-16, I will join hundreds of internationals for a week of solidarity actions in coordination with 15 Palestinian civil resistance organizations in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.  To my knowledge, this will be the first attempt to bring such a large number of internationals—already over 500, according to organizers—to the West Bank and East Jerusalem […]

What it means to go to Ben Gurion airport with an Arab friend

Lia Tarachansky on

I’m too distracted to fall asleep. Everyone is quietly snoring. The sun rises ever so slowly and the wings of the plane rudely cut through the calmness of the clouds. It’s hard to believe that the intensity of the sun repeats itself with this beauty every day. That it’s not for this special day that […]

Journalist/Birthright veteran who is critical of Israel is detained at Ben Gurion

Philip Weiss on

Free speech is a problem in the Middle East. The chief English editor for the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, Jared Malsin, late of Vermont, has been detained at Ben Gurion airport, with a hearing set for Saturday. Apparently he was on El Al. Apparently he is Jewish, or half-Jewish. And has even gone on the […]