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Using secret travel ban, Israel prepares to deport activist Adam Shapiro preventing him from being at the birth of his first child

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Huwaida Adam
Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro
(Photo: IMEU/Facebook)

Israel’s deportation policy entered a new phase on Monday when Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, co-founders of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), arrived at Ben Gurion airport and discovered an entry ban on Shapiro, despite inquires made in advance by a lawyer for the couple. Arraf and Shapiro, now expecting their first child, are perhaps the most recognizable pair in the Palestine solidarity movement, and architects for building an international activist presence on the ground since the beginning of the second Intifada.

At the airport on Monday afternoon Israeli authorities informed Shapiro that in 2009, unknown to him, the Israeli Ministry of Interior issued a 10-year entry ban for him. Initially the border police “weren’t making much sense,” Arraf told Mondoweiss, but then Shapiro was taken to jail where he remained for two days until he and Arraf were briefly reunited at a court hearing Tuesday.

After Shapiro’s Monday arrest, Arraf sent a letter to friends and supporters on her husband’s arrest:

Adam and I are expecting our first child, a boy in about 5 weeks. As joyful as this blessing is, we’ve had / we have to make some difficult decisions (besides what to name our son that is!) I am an Israeli citizen (in addition to a US citizen). This fact has made it possible for me to continue accessing my homeland all these years in spite of some attempts by Israel to kick me out. Israel did however deport Adam in 2002 because of our human rights work and banned him from re-entering the country (including the occupied Palestinian territory) since, which is why we’ve had to spend so much of our married life apart. In order for us to ensure that in the future, if Israel remains the racist, apartheid state that it is, it won’t deny our son the right to visit his homeland and all his family in Palestine, we’ve had to think about getting Israeli citizenship for our son. However, because I’m Palestinian, and not a Jewish citizen of Israel, our child will not have the automatic right to visit the country or to claim citizenship. The only way for me to pass down my citizenship to our son is to have him in Israel.

Arraf explained that in Tuesday’s court hearing the state claimed that Shapiro was presented “a document all in Hebrew” that stipulated a 10-year entry ban when he was detained by Israeli authorities in 2009 and “they said that Adam refused to sign.” But Arraf says Shapiro was never given such a document, “this is the first time he’s been told he has a 10-year ban.” Yet at the trial, Arraf says the state’s attorney produced a copy of the letter, “it’s the state’s word against Adam’s.”

“When the judge ruled, it was basically a technical ruling,” explained Arraf. He “wouldn’t listen to evidence on the ban itself, whether it is legal,” and Arraf summarizes it was clear “they did not want Adam to enter the country.”

Arraf is Palestinian with U.S. and Israeli citizenship, and Shapiro is a U.S. citizen—facts that dictate the couple’s ability to live together, travel together, and now will impose a separation during the birth of their first child after 11 years of marriage. Because of Arraf’s Palestinian national identity, she traveled to Israel late in her pregnancy so she could give birth to her son in country, ensuring she could bequeath her Israeli citizenship. Although it is technically possible for Arraf to transfer citizenship abroad, for Palestinians it is an arduous task. By contrast, children of Israeli-Jews born outside of the country can be issued Israeli identification numbers, even in instances where the child is not registered by the parents. This past year an American activist born to an Israeli father told Mondoweiss that despite never applying for citizenship, the Israeli Ministry of Interior told her she was already registered in the system. They said it was illegal for her to enter on a U.S. passport as the state already considered her an Israeli citizen.

Last month a lawyer for Arraf and Shapiro twice inquired with the Israeli government on Shapiro’s ability to enter Israel. Both times Arraf said Shapiro “was never given any written notice that he has a 10-year ban.” In addition, in 2008 Arraf wrote a letter to the Ministry of Interior to inquire into Shapiro’s travel status. At the airport on Monday, border officials produced a copy of the letter and told Arraf that she should have waited for a response before entering. “Well it’s been five years, you want us to wait longer for a response?” said Arraf.

Arraf and Shapiro’s current predicament dates back to 2002 when Shapiro was working in the West Bank as a human rights activist. After an arrest that led to deportation Shapiro discovered he was persona non grata, when attempting to re-enter through an Israeli controlled border. Over the next ten years he tried to enter the country three times. The pair was advised that Shapiro had been issued one of the notoriously vague 10-year entry bans, typically given to activists without notice, or formal explanation. Indeed Shapiro was never officially told he had a 10-year ban, but it was a logical deduction.

Later in 2009 while aboard the flotilla to breach the Israeli sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, Shapiro was taken into Israel by Israeli forces against his will and was again deported. According to Arraf, at the time the judge in that case acknowledged that Shapiro did not intend to enter Israel and was taken into the country while under custody of Israeli authorities. Now the state is alleging a new entry ban was issued at that time.

Because Arraf and Shapiro have been in communication with Israeli officials about their travel plans, Shapiro’s secret 10-year entry ban is especially alarming. The couple seems to have taken every measure to ensure Shapiro could be present for the birth of their son. But with Shapiro’s looming deportation anticipated to take place this evening, their case demonstrates that Israel not only issues entry bans, but also conceals them until the time of arrival.

“A couple of years ago,” said Arraf, “a lawyer once told me that [the 10-year entry ban] is not in any official Israeli law.” Yet, the threat of a 10-year ban is considered a final banishment doled out to the most high profile activists. It is viewed as a punitive measure for internationals who are known supporters of Palestinian rights, a fact that is underscored by the fact that only Palestine solidarity activists have received it.

Because of an Israeli policy that allows for anyone who is a perceived “security threat,” to be denied entry on spot, Arraf was aware her husband could face complications upon arrival. It is not uncommon for activists working in the West Bank to be deported from Israel, even without ever exiting the airport. This policy was employed en masse in 2012 and in 2011 when dozens of internationals were denied entry when traveling for a “fly-in,” a protest against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

“I’m usually very optimistic” said Arraf in regards to Shapiro’s ability to be present for the birth of their son. But with “all of his human rights work and his activism the state doesn’t like him.”

Arraf has a reputation for hopefulness and resilience, and it is not surprising that despite this situation she is still committed to working for the rights of Palestinians. I interviewed her after she was arrested on the 2010 flotilla, and Arraf told me that the Israeli police beat her until she was concussed, ultimately dumping her from their car. She regained consciousness while medics put her on a stretcher after seemingly being left for dead in the middle of the desert. Arraf was then taken to a hospital. After treatment she left on her own and walked until she found a phone to call her family. She didn’t know where she was, or how much time had passed. 

But a few days later Arraf was back on the ground, demonstrating and fighting for her cause. Now, just as in 2010, she moves forward even though her husband’s case will likely become a benchmark for secret travel bans.

“We continue our work on the larger picture,” wrote Arraf in her latest update to friends. “If our situation can be used to help shed more light on the racism and inhumanity rampant here (as well as Israel’s contempt for human rights defenders), with the goal of changing the system someday for the future of all the children of this region, that would be one of the best things that we could hope for.”

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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135 Responses

  1. palijustice
    March 6, 2013, 12:06 pm

    Another shameful Israeli action. Maybe we can get a petition going or a call in campaign to the Israeli govt. to show this hasn’t gone unnoticed, and to put some pressure on them to allow him to be there when his child is born.

    The difference between how Jewish Israelis are treated and non Jewish Israelis, in the case of his wife and her child’s rights to Israeli citizenhip if born outside the country, are completely opposite. Here is apartheid inside Israel proper. I’m sure most people would not know this fact.

    • seafoid
      March 6, 2013, 1:32 pm

      Denying a father the right to be there for the birth of his first child is typically smallminded and ignorant. Israeli to a t.

  2. Cliff
    March 6, 2013, 12:09 pm

    Didn’t Israel free Rachel Corrie’s killer recently?

    Israel hates the ISM and all international observers to Zionism. They make it (slightly) harder to carry out daily colonial rule in the OPT.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 6, 2013, 12:18 pm

      corrie’s killer was never even identified as i recall, much less jailed.

      • Pamela Olson
        March 6, 2013, 2:12 pm

        Israel absolved itself and its soldiers of any and all culpability, as usual. A similar thing happened when a snipe shot a 13-year-old Palestinian girl, then went up and shot her in the head to “confirm the kill,” then put his gun on automatic and emptied the rest of his clip into her body “to relieve stress.”

        The odd thing was, he was actually charged with illegal use of weapon and behavior unbecoming an officer. But no worries — he was cleared of all charges a year later.

      • Cliff
        March 6, 2013, 2:54 pm

        That is fucking disgusting.

        Could you link the story? I’ve never heard of that.

      • seafoid
        March 6, 2013, 4:03 pm

        There was a story in Haaretz the other day about 2 British Army hostages the Zionists had in captivity when the Brits refused to release 3 Zionist terrorists from prison. I think it was 1947. Anyway Begin, future PM, ordered the 2 soldiers to be hanged.
        They were both Jewish and had been passing on military secrets to the bots and the bastards hanged them, their own people.

      • ckg
        March 6, 2013, 4:25 pm


      • jon s
        March 7, 2013, 5:36 am

        The two British sargeants executed by the IZL were Clifford Martin and Mervyn Paice. I’ve never heard anything about them being Jewish or spies for the “bots”. Whatever “bots” are.(?)
        Do you have any info on that? Links?

      • Sumud
        March 7, 2013, 9:12 am

        What seafoid refers to is known as ‘the Sergeants affair’:

        seafoid – do you have a link to the Haaretz article? The wiki page skirts around them working with zionists but isn’t really clear, I’m interested to know more.

      • Pamela Olson
        March 8, 2013, 10:31 am

        Thanks, ckg, I didn’t check back until now. The story is also covered in my book. As a journalist, I covered both the killing, and the mutilating, and the court case, and the evental acquittal despite, well, the usual clear evidence (which doesn’t matter as long as a Palestinian is saying it, or hell, even if an Israeli admits it on a taped and leaked radio transmission).

        The acquittal was pretty much the last thing I covered in Palestine. A sad and grisly punctuation mark. Her father said that with this acquittal, they had killed his daughter a second time.

      • ckg
        March 8, 2013, 11:21 am

        Pamela–I first heard of the story reading the 2011 edition of Fast Times, in the ‘Days of Penitence’ section of Chapter 6. Good luck on your book tour.

      • amigo
        March 7, 2013, 7:34 am

        Annie , this might clarify matters

        “Their daughter was killed in 2003 while trying to block the bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian home in Gaza.

        An army investigation concluded she was partially hidden behind a dirt mound and ruled her death an accident. The driver and his commander were not charged or tried and no one was punished.”HuffP


  3. just
    March 6, 2013, 12:18 pm

    Bless this young family– they represent the very best of humanity & hope.

    At the same time, they expose the sheer ugliness of apartheid, capricious, and wildly disingenuous present- day Israel.

    • AbeBird
      March 7, 2013, 11:47 am

      What apartheid has to do here? Israel, as the US, has the same mandate to forbid her enemies to enter the land. Do you know how many tourists the US holds at airports and sends back each year? and they don’t even know if they are Anti Americans or not.

  4. Annie Robbins
    March 6, 2013, 12:24 pm

    it just blows my mind how much effort and preparation a palestinian has to go thru to make sure her unborn child can one day be allowed to live or even visit palestine. and this is not an opportunity most palestinans are even afforded. and to be possibly separated from eachother for the birth of their child..for these parents to have to make a sacrifice like that. it’s so unfair.

    what a beautiful couple.

    • seafoid
      March 6, 2013, 1:14 pm

      What trash bureaucrat signed this off?
      Like it’s going to make any difference to the trajectory of Zionism.

    • Pamela Olson
      March 6, 2013, 2:14 pm

      Another Palestinian couple I know was separated during the birth of their second child because he was thrown in an Israeli jail for no reason. Yet another had to schedule her birth so she could get a permit to be in Jerusalem for that time so her baby would not be thereafter forbidden from entering the holy city. She was a rare and lucky one who could actually manage that. Don’t even get me started on the checkpoint births… :(

  5. marc b.
    March 6, 2013, 12:28 pm

    i hope i’m not jumping to conclusions, but isn’t shapiro jewish? can’t he just apply for citizenship under the law of return? what a PR hit israel would take if it denied citizenship to a jew based on his politics. oy.

    • Allison Deger
      March 6, 2013, 12:52 pm

      Adam is from a Jewish background. He has said that he chooses not to access the Law of Return, which could grant him Israeli citizenship, for moral/political reasons:

      “While it would perhaps allow me access, it would require me to acknowledge not only the existence of the state but its ideology too… I don’t see how I could [do it].”

      • marc b.
        March 6, 2013, 1:04 pm

        thanks, allison. he’s certainly more principled than i am. i’d be inclined to apply for citizenship simply as a tactic.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 6, 2013, 1:10 pm

        very impressive article allison.

      • marc b.
        March 6, 2013, 1:27 pm

        yup. i second that, annie. great work as usual. that’s why i come here; for the people who know alot more about the topic than i do.

      • Joe Catron
        March 6, 2013, 1:51 pm

        If anyone’s keeping tabs, Adam has said, “I don’t identify as Jewish. I see it as a religion rather than an ethnicity and, as I have no religious feelings, I don’t regard myself as Jewish.”

        Aside from the obvious, principled reasons Jews should reject the racist Law of Return, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t apply to someone who doesn’t claim to be one.

      • ritzl
        March 6, 2013, 6:41 pm

        Isn’t this 10-year ban based on a law that is independent of the Law of Return?

        The “10-year” bit rings a bell. IIRC, the Knesset was contemplating a law a couple of years ago saying that anyone that advocated BDS (among other infractions) could be banned for 10 years, Jewish or not. I know it got to its third reading, but didn’t hear much about it after that.

      • mondonut
        March 7, 2013, 5:51 pm

        “While it would perhaps allow me access, it would require me to acknowledge not only the existence of the state but its ideology too… I don’t see how I could [do it].”

        So Adam has a problem with not be permitted entry into a state whose very existence he is unwilling to acknowledge? Quelle surprise!

        Adam wants both the moral high ground and the right to whine about it as well. I have some advice for him, if you want to be with your wife and child then make the necessary sacrifices to do so. Any sacrifice, including the minor inconvenience of signing some damn paperwork.

    • piotr
      March 6, 2013, 1:15 pm

      There is not such a thing as “Jewish” and “not Jewish”. The state of Israel reject the idea that all people should be treated equally, and that all citizens should be treated equally and even that all Jewish citizens should be treated equally. Because it is hard to codify HOW they should be treated, constitution is avoided.

      A famous Israeli author claimed and he can be more Jewish in Israel than anywhere else. Then I started to pay attention. One journalist reported that in airport security conversation he was quizzed about his congregation and after a “correct answer” the officer was friendlier.

      I was in Israel once and I had quite annoying conversation, asked the same series of questions at least 3 times by different agents, and who knows how long it would take except that accidentally an Israeli cousin was also at the airport and interrupted the agent after one hour, when she spotted us from afar and finally got impatient. I also mentioned her among people “I have contacted”. At that time I did not realize how low is my grade. So low that they did not even had to ask about my congregation.

      One could make a chart of different grades of Jews with examples of persons and treatment. Bottom of the scale: Mordechai Vanunu (well, at least they did not kill him, but the facts about Ziegler are not that clear, so let us put Vanunu on the bottom). Close to the top: when advertisements promoting the Aliyah offended the sensibilities of Michael Bloomberg (something about not having to date shiksas, and Lord Mayor’s girlfriend is not Jewish), the campaign was stopped promptly. I suspect that Bloomberg was only one of tycoons who could find the ads in poor taste, but I also suspect that kwetching of low grade Jews would have no effect. “Hello, this is secretary of Mayor Bloomberg”, that could do it. Now, if Shapiro happened to be a cousin of Bloomberg …

  6. piotr
    March 6, 2013, 12:45 pm

    Obviously, a state can control the borders in any way it wishes.

    If US government was representing its citizens, it would apply the mistreatment reciprocally to the other state. So Iranians in USA and Americans in Iran are not mistreated, to provide an example, and incidents, if any, are handled.

    But if the country in question is a “top ally” our government does not react until the citizens are raped AND killed and there is firestorm in the press. (Google “American nuns raped killed”)

    • sardelapasti
      March 6, 2013, 11:55 pm

      piotr – “Obviously, a state can control the borders in any way it wishes.”

      In fact, not only a state but any band of pirates and brigands can do that too, provided it is well armed and/or has a strong ally.

      What is to be feared most is not the 10-year ban.

      Now that the Zionists know the size of the probable reaction, after the murders of Corrie, the Mavi Marmara humanitarians and other foreign peace workers, they will start killing strangers with almost the same ease as Palestinians and in broad daylight, in the game of chicken we know so well from the late 30s. Up to now, every development of Zionist policy has been fairly predictable observing the early history of Nazism. In fact, I fear for the life of Shapiro and Arraf.

      • piotr
        March 7, 2013, 11:07 am

        I am saying that if US government was protecting the rights of US citizens, they would impose similar treatment to Israelis connected with the government, e.g. interrogations, demands to show e-mails, strip searches and bans on entry.

  7. zenreaper
    March 6, 2013, 12:51 pm

    As an American, I WISH there was more I could do. I just feel SO helpless because if this happened here in the US, it would be IMMEDIATELY stopped, or at least broadcast. I think that is the main opposition you run into in the US. The claims are SO outlandish (not untrue, just CRAZY “out there”) that I think many Americans think, “Wow, MUST be false, because if this was REALLY happening, it would be all over the news.” Many Americans are simply too comfortable and complacient with our system to understand that it does not exist everywhere.

    • Citizen
      March 7, 2013, 10:20 am

      @ zenreaper

      What does not exist anywhere but America is the self-imposed muzzle the US mainstream media puts on itself regarding any facts or breaking news critical of Israel. That’s our system.

  8. W.Jones
    March 6, 2013, 12:55 pm

    This reminds me of another newly formulated restriction on Israelis who interact with the native population:

    During the hearing, it became apparent that the state has started to formulate a policy whereby Israeli citizens living in the Gaza Strip must undergo tissue-culture testing to confirm their identities before being granted permission to enter the country.

    Democracies do not subject those seeking to enter their territory to tissue-culture testing. That would be invasive, extreme and awfully worrisome; it would be a highly problematic policy that would violate fundamental human rights. There are other ways to ascertain an individual’s identity without conducting such tests. In this case, no effort has even been made to find an alternative method, as Gisha testified in court.

    See: The indecent testing of Israeli citizens of Gaza

  9. Shegetz
    March 6, 2013, 1:08 pm

    This past year an American activist born to an Israeli father told Mondoweiss that despite never applying for citizenship, the Israeli Ministry of Interior told her she was already registered in the system. They said it was illegal for her to enter on a U.S. passport as the state already considered her an Israeli citizen.

    So this means that the children of all the Israeli born friends of mine are in their database too and considered citizens, with or without their consent, and counted as such.

    Very interesting indeed.

    • Red
      March 6, 2013, 2:09 pm

      A similar thing happened with a German activist friend of mine. One of my friend’s parents was born in Israel but immigrated to Germany. My friend only had German citizenship and passport. Israel had on several occasions attempted to deport my friend due to pro-Palestine solidarity activism. But because Israel has registered my friend technically as an Israeli citizen as a result of the parent’s citizenship, they have at the last minute had to stop the deportations. When they tried to also prevent my friend entering Israel, they eventually had to allow entry for the same reason.

    • Elliot
      March 6, 2013, 10:52 pm

      A relative of mine, an American with Israeli parents is given a hard time by the Israeli authorities every time she goes to Israel. “Where is your Israeli passport? Why don’t you have one?”

    • Stephen Shenfield
      March 7, 2013, 5:29 am

      A man I knew, a British Jew, was born in Israel as a result of his parents happening to be there on vacation at the time. They weren’t planning for this to happen — the birth was premature. He grew up in Britain and gave the matter no further thought until at the age of 18 he received a draft notice to serve in the IDF!

      • Sumud
        March 8, 2013, 9:09 am

        He grew up in Britain and gave the matter no further thought until at the age of 18 he received a draft notice to serve in the IDF!

        I wonder if this gentleman is counted in Israel’s census…?

        I know there is great concern about when the number of Palestinians in mandate Palestine exceeds the number of Israeli jews, I wonder if the census counts are being manipulated.

    • sardelapasti
      March 7, 2013, 7:24 am

      Shegetz – “So this means that the children of all the Israeli born friends of mine are in their database too and considered citizens, with or without their consent, and counted as such.”

      Like the Mormons converting souls wholesale from civil registries!
      Or, of course, the rabbis, tolerant versus apostasy from the religion but not from the tribe.

      The more you look at “Israel” law, the further back it takes you to the Stone Age.

  10. seafoid
    March 6, 2013, 1:27 pm

    Petty. Typical. Jewish sovereignty today. Cruel. Anti mitzvah. When tshtf some rabbi will say we strayed from g-d. The time to do something about it is now.

  11. eljay
    March 6, 2013, 1:38 pm

    Arraf is Palestinian with U.S. and Israeli citizenship … Because of Arraf’s Palestinian national identity, unlike her Jewish co-citizens, she can only bequeath Israeli citizenship to her son by giving birth inside of the country. By contrast, children of Israeli-Jews born outside of the country can be issued Israeli identification numbers, even in instances where the child is not registered by the parents.

    What is that smell?! Oh, right, that’s what it is: Hateful and immoral Zio-supremacism.

  12. ckg
    March 6, 2013, 2:18 pm

    I wish them luck. I’m a little puzzled by Arraf’s comment:

    However, because I’m Palestinian, and not a Jewish citizen of Israel, our child will not have the automatic right to visit the country or to claim citizenship. The only way for me to pass down my citizenship to our son is to have him in Israel.

    Arraf was born in Michigan to a Palestinian father with Israeli citizenship. How was her father able to pass down his Israeli citizenship to her, but she can’t pass down her Israeli citizenship to her son unless he is born in Israel? Have the rules changed, or do the rules differ by whether a citizen is native-born?

    • Elliot
      March 7, 2013, 12:49 am

      Is this an official policy or do the authorities use red tape to make it difficult for Palestinians?
      The rules for passing citizenship on to non-native children differ from country to country. It would make sense that Israel uses this grey zone to block Palestinians.

      I’m curious to learn from any Israeli Palestinians on the site how the Israeli system works.

      • tree
        March 7, 2013, 4:09 am

        Is this an official policy or do the authorities use red tape to make it difficult for Palestinians?

        I think I found the answer, at Wikipedia no less. Wonders never cease.

        Under “Israeli nationality law” at Wiki there is this entry:

        A child born to an Israeli citizen (including children born outside of Israel as first generation out of Israel) is considered an Israeli citizen. Persons born outside Israel are Israeli citizens, if their father or mother holds Israeli citizenship, acquired either by birth in Israel, according to the Law of Return, by residence, or by naturalization.[1] In other words, the principle of jus sanguinis is limited to only one generation born abroad. Despite this limitation, the descendants of an Israeli national abroad may be eligible to obtain Israeli citizenship through other methods, such as the Law of Return.

        So of course, in practice this limitation affects only non-Jewish citizens and their descendants, since all Jewish descendants have rights to citizenship under the Law of Return. Yet another example of Israel’s discrimination against its non-Jewish citizens.

      • tree
        March 7, 2013, 4:20 am
      • Elliot
        March 7, 2013, 4:18 pm

        Thanks, Tree.
        Putting that together with the report that another poster gave that Arraf was not born in Israel, it is clear that her child would be denied Israeli citizenship.
        Without Israeli citizenship, as a Palestinian-American, the child would be worse off at Israel’s borders than an American with no Palestinian heritage.

    • tree
      March 7, 2013, 2:15 pm

      Any chance that my comment from last night explaining Israeli citizenship laws will get out of moderation?

      Oops, I see it just has. I understand that moderation is not an easy job but its a little frustrating to see multiple comments posted that occurred hours after one has made a comment and is still waiting for moderation. I’m sure I’m not alone in this kind of frustration. Is there any way that comments could be moderated in the order in which they are posted?

  13. judithbell
    March 6, 2013, 7:24 pm

    So Arraf is able to get citizenship even though she was not born in Israel? And her baby can too, although she must apply. Sounds like what a lot of European countries have which is jus sanguis. There is also jus solis which means if you are born in a country you have citizenship like in the U.S.. Most European nations do not have that strictly. They also have a right of return ie Britain, Greece, Armenia.

    How does this square with apartheid within the Green line?

    Also, many countries have border control. Think of all of the people the Brits won’t let in. Or the Canadian new demand for visas for Hungarians (read Roma asylum seekers) Should outsiders have rights of entry to a country? Isn’t it up to the democratically elected leaders of a country to establish policy and let the voters decide.

    The only superiority I see here is American superiority that says we decide how everyone runs their country because we are “exceptional”

    You can vote on who America has relations with but after that, Shapiro in particular has no connection to Israel and Arraf can vote for whoever she likes and get her free medical care but that’s it.

    I don’t think it would work differently anywhere else.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 7, 2013, 2:19 am

      Shapiro in particular has no connection to Israel

      he’s married to an israeli citizen. how is that not a connection? she wants to have her baby there, why shouldn’t her husband be at her side? he’s a human rights activist, not a terrorist.

      • judithbell
        March 7, 2013, 11:18 am

        Adam Shapiro said “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics— both nonviolent and violent. But most importantly it must develop a strategy involving both aspects. No other successful nonviolent movement was able to achieve what it did without a concurrent violent movement. In India militants attacked British outposts and interests while Gandhi conducted his campaign, while the Black Panther Movement and its earlier incarnations existed side-by-side with the Civil Rights Movement in the United States”.[

        You think it is so egregious for Israel not to host this individual. The United States reserves the right to use drones to kill individuals who advocate violence against it. They killed the senior Al- Awaki and his son, for good measure.

        And do you believe that anyone can enter the US or Canada or Britain because they are having a baby or married to a citizen? There are people in Canada who have lived here their whole lives, have Canadian children but failed to get proper citizenship and are deported. There is a recent case in BC.

        This is a simple provocation. There is no problem having her baby in the US. She is an American, born in America. She is not a refugee. She is not being forced to have her baby in a place with inadequate medical facilities. And her child can still be Israeli if she completes the necessary steps.

        It is unique American hubris to think that Americans can dictate to others what to do. He is not a citizen of Israel and he has no rights. Especially as he advocates violence against its citizens and has breached Israel’s laws.

        If he does not want an American – Israeli relationship, he can start a lobby, raise money, start a grassroots movement to target pro-Israeli legislatures, whatever he wants.

        But the government of Israel serves its constituents – not him. They have no obligation to host him, anymore than Britain has an obligation to allow any speaker who wants to lecture at their university That does not breach free speech which belongs to the British not outsiders.

        If she wants him present at the birth of her baby, I don’t think it is a hardship to have a baby in Detroit or Washington D.C..

      • Sumud
        March 8, 2013, 9:33 am

        Really judithbell, REALLY???

        You’re drawing equivalence between Adam Shapiro and Anwar Al-Awlaki???

        I’ve got news for you judithbell: what Adam said about Palestinians using violence and non-violence measures is entirely uncontroversial. Palestinians are enduring a belligerent military occupation and are legally entitled to mount an armed resistance.

        You may not like that – too bad for you.

        I don’t know what makes you think Israelis are so special they should be able to destroy the lives of generation after generation of Palestinians, and said people should just passively sit by and let it happen to them. Not to mention Israel’s grotesque and serial abuses of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

    • Elliot
      March 7, 2013, 3:01 am

      As others have pointed out already, quoting Arraf, the problem is not border controls against foreigners but the racially-based selective application of law. If Arraf were Jewish, she wouldn’t need to give birth in Israel. If she were a Jew, her child could get in, either as an Israeli, or under the Law of Return.

      • judithbell
        March 7, 2013, 2:35 pm

        If she were of Italian heritage, she would also have a special dispensation under their law of return, or Armenian or Greek or Croatian or Russian or Chinese or German or Bulgaria or Cyprus or that is just off the top of my head.

        Individuals of these ethnicity all have a right of return.

        And from my reading of the article, the process is more complicated but even after being away for 2 generations she can still get citizenship for her baby.

      • Elliot
        March 7, 2013, 4:24 pm

        @judith bell – all these laws are based on nationality, not ethnicity. According to the law Arraf is as Israeli as a Roma Italian is Italian. But Israeli law is also racist and discriminates against its own citizens based on their ethnicity, despite their nationality.

      • sardelapasti
        March 8, 2013, 10:28 am

        bell – Just dishonest. Comparing Armenians, Greeks, etc. welcomed to what is left of their own country of origin to the armed invasion of Palestine by hordes of Russians, Bessarabians, Brooklynites, you name it, with no connection at all except the theft of land.

      • judithbell
        March 8, 2013, 1:07 pm

        Jews have a connection to the land. The Jews were the only sovereign state ever established in the land of Israel, two times. The Jews have had a continuous presence in Israel for 3,000 years without interruption. Jews have been refused entry to Israel and have been restricted in where they can settle and have been removed from settling, most significantly recently when the Jordanian army chased them from Jerusalem in 1948 and destroyed all of their sites. Still, Jews never gave up their connection. Rather, people like you have decided that the Jews have no connection.

        If it is a matter of time between Jewish sovereignty, then one must ask two questions. How long before Palestinians can be deemed to no longer have a connection, without of course the Palestinians agreeing to this.

        And more interestingly, when did the native connection to North America cease so it is no longer their land?

        I can’t help but find it interesting that you think a Jew who came to Brooklyn has more right to be there than in Israel.

        (In Canada, we are being enlightened as the natives ask for their land, and in particular their resources back. Seems that Canada forgot to respect a whole bunch of treaties and most of B.C. is native.)

        The Jews then began to modernize Israel, beginning in the 1880’s after having bought land with permission of the governing authorities, the Ottoman Empire, and suffered hunger, malaria, cholera, you name it building the land. This would be when America was settling the West and engaging in the Indian Wars and passing Indian Resettlement Acts.

        The League of Nation, pursuant to the Treaty of San Remo, then granted the British the mandate over Palestine which led to the establishment of Israel pursuant to the mandate, a UN vote and a successfully fought war.

        So yes, there is a strong connection to the land. And I note in your post, you fail to note the Iraqi Jews, the Yemeni Jews, the Libyan Jews etc.

        So Greeks have a connection to the land? What about the descendants of Bulgarians from Thrace? Do they not have a connection to that territory that is now Greece?

        What about descendants of Greeks who were cleansed from Armenia? The citizenship law refers to an expedited process for ethnic Armenians and specifically says later that an Armenian can get citizenship without residency. This is after its provisions re people who resided in Armenia when it was part of the Soviet Union. So no, not everyone with a connection to the land gets to live on it. They have to be the right ethnicity.

      • judithbell
        March 8, 2013, 6:57 pm

        Firstly, the
        situation of the Jews is different. If by nationality, the author means
        citizenship, Jews had no citizenship on which to base any law of return.
        However, the Germans did not base their law of return on nationality or
        citizenship but on ethnicity for the same unique historical reason – which
        is that they were addressing communities expelled from Eastern Europe, many
        of whom were centuries old and of course predated the modern German state
        which began in 1870. So they were not based on nationality but ethnicity.
        The same would be true of Armenia who has recently ethnically cleansed its
        Azerbi population. Neither they nor the ethnic Turks cleansed during WW2
        would be eligible under the law of return. Likewise, Greek ethnicity which
        I discussed in a post would be the only qualifier.
        Being descended from Turks cleansed in 1923 or Bulgarians being cleansed
        after WW1 would not count. These are just 2 examples.

    • sardelapasti
      March 7, 2013, 7:17 am

      Judith Bell – “… Israel? ……Sounds like what a lot of European countries have which is jus sanguis.”

      My point too! Considering the citizenship laws of the Zionist invaders, there cannot be any objection to the Palestinians’ refusing to give automatic citizenship to the local offspring of the Zionist invaders, even over 2-3 generations. They can always use their parents’ first citizenship.

      • judithbell
        March 7, 2013, 3:51 pm

        I really don’t understand your post. Are you saying that if a Palestinian state is established that it should deny citizenship to its Jewish inhabitants. When Jordan ruled the West Bank it was illegal to sell land to Jews and it is still illegal now. So do you suggest ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population?

        As for Zionist invaders, there was no such invasion. Jews have always lived in what is present day Israel as well as the West Bank. Restrictions have historically come from those who governed the regions from the Byzantine to the Brits. Jews have been disallowed to settle in many places, including severe restrictions in Jerusalem. Despite this, by the mid-1800’s Jerusalem was majority Jewish. They have been removed from many places such as Hebron. Of course, one knows that when the Jordanians conquered Jerusalem they did not permit any Jewish access and destroyed the Jewish holy sites.

        When the Jews began to immigrate in the 1880’s they did so after consultation with the Ottoman Empire who were the rules at that time. They purchased property and settled it. They cleared the land, suffering hunger, malaria, cholera and dying in droves.

        The Arab population was not as fixed as people allude to today. The national borders of today are colonial fictions. The population was fluid and moved all over the region and defined as Arab. Perhaps the most famous Palestinian Arafat was born and raised in Egypt. He was no refugee.

        You might want to remember as well that this zionist movement which was part of the waves of nationalism that overtook the world when the great empires began to weaken occurred when America settled the west.

        Perhaps google Utah and Mormons and Aliyah Aleph and Bet to appreciate the difference in how America and Israel were settled and the behaviour of both populations in the late 19th and early 20th century. It will provide context.

    • tree
      March 7, 2013, 2:30 pm

      And her baby can too, although she must apply.

      No, her baby can only get Israeli citizenship if it is born in Israel. If she was Jewish, it wouldn’t matter whether the baby was born in Israel or not, because the child could always claim Israeli citizenship under Israel’s Law of Return for Jews. As a Palestinian by birth the child would have no such “right” and must be born in Israel in order to have a right to claim Israeli citizenship, and thus the right to visit with and get to know his or her extended family there.

      There is no European country that has such a restrictive policy against a minority population and such a privileged one for worldwide members of the majority population. The Israeli policy is the very essence of racism.

      • judithbell
        March 8, 2013, 1:17 am

        No. It is not the essence of racism. It is the essence of a small people who have generation after generation seen its population dwindle over and over again due to persecution and people escaping via assimilation which seeks to survive.

        Compare Israel to Quebec where I am from.

        I invite you to read the Globe and Mail or National Post this past week., both Canada’s national newspapers. You will see that the French Language Charter which restricts English and gives supremacy to French and which is enforced by special constables is once against being strengthened. French must now be used in places of business with less than 50 employees. Signs are being further restricted. No English person from outside of Quebec and this includes the rest of Canada may send their child to school in English. This is being extended to the military. Municipal services in English are being curtailed. The English population has dwindled substantially in the past 30 years. It is a fraction of what it was.

        Quebecois do not see this as racist, although the rest of Canada have no such laws against the French. They argue that Quebec is an island of French in a sea of English. It is a matter of national survival. They do not want to disappear as a distinct culture. Therefore, although there is still a substantial English minority and used to be a much greater one, Quebec restricts the signs of English presence and the right to work in English.

        Recent statements by government officials are clear. Quebec is not multicultural. The Quebec culture which is francophone reigns supreme. In fact, they were attempts to curtail halal meat and no public servant is allowed to wear any religious symbol, except a cross which they say is a “national” symbol.

        You see, or you choose to see, the right of return as exclusionary. It is inclusive. Its purpose is to ensure that EVERY Jew, everywhere, has a home to go to. That there never be a Jewish refugee again. And it is to ensure there is a country which is distinctly Jewish where Jewish culture, religion, language, history can be preserved and strengthened.

        Yes, Jews have a fast track path to Israeli citizenship.

        Yes, Arraf’s baby is not Jewish. (I am assuming the article is wrong in saying the baby can get Israeli citizenship anyway, even if it is not born in Israel) But Arraf does not want her baby to be Israeli. She does not value that connection. She does not want the child to contribute to Israeli society. She does not plan to raise the child in Israel and she does not need the passport. She has the most valuable passport in the world.

        This is just the most personalized part of her campaign to destroy Israel. She believes that it is wrong to have a majority Jewish state with a Jewish culture in which she is the minority. My sympathies as an English Quebecor. It is very uncomfortable every time you open your mouth in Quebec. It is like being the wrong colour and I am 3rd generation.

        But I can live in English Canada and now I do. And she can help fight for a Palestinian state. No refugees are going back to where they come from. Compensation will have to be arranged.

        BTW, If Arraf wanted to have her baby have Greek citizenship, if she was an ethnic Greece but not the child of a Greek citizen, she could apply and get immediate citizenship. If she was not she would have to attach to the country by living there for a decade before she could obtain Greek citizenship.

        Greek has very few minorities as the Muslims were ethnically cleansed in 1923 pursuant to a population exchange with Turkey and Bulgarians were also cleansed as part of the ceding of territory to Greece as retribution for their loss in WW1. None of those people can get Greek citizenship under a right of return.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 8, 2013, 9:47 am

        “You see, or you choose to see, the right of return as exclusionary. It is inclusive. Its purpose is to ensure that EVERY Jew, everywhere, has a home to go to.”

        Yes, and it does that by EXCLUDING the people — the Palestinians — on whose land — Palestine — this supposed “home” is built.

        “But Arraf does not want her baby to be Israeli. She does not value that connection. She does not want the child to contribute to Israeli society. She does not plan to raise the child in Israel and she does not need the passport. She has the most valuable passport in the world.”

        No she wants the baby, as part Palestinian, to be able to return to Palestine, without regard for what some outsider, non-Palestinians deems to be Palestine.

      • piotr
        March 8, 2013, 11:14 am

        I was in Montreal several times, once for two months, so I have some outsider perspective. Indeed, there are policies that are discriminatory against people who do not speak French. However, other than that, they accept all kinds of backgrounds, North African, Lebanese, Caribbean and so on. We went for a dinner in “poissonerie” and we were only non-Arabs in the place (well, I guess that one of the personel was Dominican). Next door was a Polish store. Across the street Italian cafe run by Italians. A block away a Vietnamese restaurant run by Vietnamese. Basically, if you want to immigrate they want you to learn French, but other than that they are more open minded than Americans.

        And you can survive, even get a decent job while knowing “only English”. It is true that French speakers in Ontario and New Brunswick are treated better that English speakers in Quebec, but it is not a racist hell hole. One interesting effect of the policies is a very large number of trilingual people.

      • sardelapasti
        March 8, 2013, 11:38 am

        Well, it’s the majority language. After all, language exists for communication. How far do you get in the States without speaking English –even though it’s not official?
        More to the point for Judithwhatever, how far do you get in Ishghaal speaking only the “official language” Arabic? Guess.

      • Chu
        March 8, 2013, 11:52 am

        ‘Compare Israel to Quebec ‘

        don’t even try it, there’s no equivalence here.
        Quebec does not have a right of return while working
        to expel other canucks from their families dwellings.

      • judithbell
        March 8, 2013, 12:08 pm


        First of all, you cannot get a job by knowing only English. That is false. All professions have french language competency tests you must pass before you practice. So certainly you could not be an engineer, doctor, pharmacist, lawyer, accountant etc.

        Outside of Montreal, virtually no one even speaks English so you would be restricted to Montreal which is majority francophone. So at best you could work in the small English section , which is not downtown, and you would have to be in a company of under 25 employees. So basically you could maybe be a waitress in a small restaurant in the West End. But I doubt it, because in Montreal no one would hire anyone unilingual.

        My guess is you went to an English university. I went to l’Universite de Montreal where every day it was made clear to me that I was welcome as an outsider. I could live in Quebec but it was not my home or my society. People asked me why I lived in Quebec and if I was going to stay. They did not see me as part of the community. It was shocking for me because it was my first introduction to the French community. Quebec is very segregated. There are English areas, Jewish area, Italian areas, French areas so people do not mingle so much.

        As for the immigrants, they needed to be brought in because of Quebec’s low birth rate. They are acceptable if they assimilate. Recently, when there was a furor over halal meat, this after the establishment of panels of accommodation because of several incidents with Jews and Muslims ( not between them but with their practices being restricted by the majority) and a town that passed a code of behaviour that pointedly included no honour killings

        Please don’t come to my home that I lived in for over half my life and where my entire immediate family – parents, siblings, nieces, nephews live and tell me what it is like because you were there for 2 months.

        If you do not speak French and therefore cannot understand the conversations etc around you and you do not read the papers, French and English daily, you really do not know what happens in this society.

        I am also guessing you are American or someone who is from the majority ethnicity of a country. You do not know what it is like to be a minority.

        So I will say what I say often – although maybe not here. The world is made up of ethnicities and all countries, except the US, English Canada and maybe Australia are ethnocentric.

        If it is racist to have a Jewish state, it is racist to have a province for the Quebecois which Canada recognizes as a distinct nation. If it is wrong to have a law of return for Jews, it is wrong to have one for ethnic Armenians.

      • RoHa
        March 9, 2013, 12:00 am

        “Compare Israel to Quebec”

        Why? Do you think that the daftness of the Quebecois justifies the evil of Israel? If so, you are morally deficient.

        “And it is to ensure there is a country which is distinctly Jewish where Jewish culture, religion, language, history can be preserved and strengthened. ”

        And do you think that Jewish culture, religion, language, history, etc. are more valuable than the lives and rights of human beings? That the injustice to Palestinians is less important?

        Human beings devise cultures as a way of organizing their lives. The aim is to make life better. Cultures have no value beyond that, and when a culture is an obstacle to a better life, that culture should be changed or abandoned.

        Most cultures do change or merge with other cultures. No doubt some good customs are lost in the process, but also bad ones. And it happens anyway. It seem to me that more harm is done by artificially trying to “preserve” cultures than by letting them go. Why burden children with the task?

        Why is it so important to preserve Jewish culture, or for the Jewish “people” to survive as a distinct “people”? Suppose, for the moment, that this afternoon all Jews were to say “Blow this. I’m going to forget all this Jewish stuff and assimilate completely.” What terrible effects would there be?

        Would War, Plague, Famine, and Bad Grammar sweep across the world? Would continents crack and comets rain from the sky? Would beer and chocolate lose their taste?

        Or would the human race – including the ex-Jews and their children – carry on as usual, trying to live better lives?

  14. biorabbi
    March 6, 2013, 7:51 pm

    This is the single most infuriating column and comments I have ever read on and I’ve read each story with interest, humor, praise, or scorn, but this takes the cake. I’ve got absolutely nothing against this young couple in particular. Wasn’t there also a case in the US where a leading Muslim intellectual was denied entry to teach(the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) a few years back. I don’t recall a good reason or rationale to deny this man entry? Weren’t thousands of US citizens kicked out of the US around 1919(mostly Jews punted back to Russia)for being communists.

    Is there another county on this planet that never, ever screws over dissidents by denying them entry. Israel did the same thing to Chomsky and Finkelstein et al. Whether you approve of it or not, it is hardly unique in any possible regard.

    How is this article different than one that explores how Israeli prostitutes are sometimes abused and hooked on drugs, that there are criminals in Israeli society, scam artists, selfless dissidents, rapists, people who devote their life to science, government officials who detest the occupation, craven government officials who love Netanyahu. In this respect, how is it that Israel is different than any other country?

    Annie, others, I’m listening. Sincerely I am. Annie is obviously an activist, presumably of the left, but open minded. I support Israel on many topics and am proud of her, but we are both US citizens. Should be be tarred and feathered together as “US lackeys” even though we have diametrically distinct attitudes?

    I fail to see what is it in this article that postulates something unique or even bad about Israel as compared to EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN HISTORY!

    • a blah chick
      March 6, 2013, 9:31 pm

      I was going to give a long winded reply but I think I should keep it short.

      What country on this planet treats its Jews as badly as Israel treats its Arab?

    • Cliff
      March 6, 2013, 9:59 pm

      And that is why you are a complete looney.

      We are activists on this issue. Not on the zillion other issues there are.

      You think that because Israel may do something bad that other countries have done, that it warrants no attn.

      And that is why you are a complete looney.

    • Donald
      March 6, 2013, 11:08 pm

      I saw your post on the side column and I read your post before I read the article and
      your reaction is bizarre. To quote Pauli, not only is your reaction not right, it’s not even wrong. This post and the comments here are the most upsetting you’ve ever seen? Seriously? Hell, if I wanted to criticize the pro-Palestinian side at MW (and I have on occasion) I could find comments that deserve blasting a lot more than any I see here.

      • piotr
        March 11, 2013, 1:11 pm

        This puzzled me as well. Perhaps his significant person said something nasty to him (“Die twice already, you bastard!”) and he was in a singularly bad mood when reading the story.

    • Elliot
      March 6, 2013, 11:51 pm

      Yes, the US routinely bars entry to undesirables. In the wake of 9/11, musicians from around the world had trouble getting in to the States to perform gigs.
      The big difference here is the context. Arraf has to give birth in Israel because of Israel’s official racist policy against its own Palestinian citizens. Israel prides itself on being part of the family of Western democracies. This discrimination is unique in our world today. And worthy of our outrage.

    • American
      March 7, 2013, 1:19 pm

      “Wasn’t there also a case in the US where a leading Muslim intellectual was denied entry to teach(the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) a few years back. I don’t recall a good reason or rationale to deny this man entry? “…biorabbi

      Yep there was. Now follow me for the reasons:

      US support of Israel helped cause 911, attributed to Islamist and OBL.
      US Zionist and Israel tried to ramp up blame and hatred of everything Arab in the US.
      US zionist and the Lobby and dozens of other zio orgs, and individuals, and politicians in the US government and congress used their positions to aid this hatred and discrimination of Muslims, Arabs and Palestine.

      Sooooooooooooo…….you can blame a lot of US gov actions and political actions on Israel and it’s fifth column in the US government by simply following the bread crumb trail.

    • Light
      March 7, 2013, 2:58 pm

      Nothing out of the ordinary. Israel harasses American citizens because it doesn’t like their political views. If they were really bad country like North Korea, they might strip search them (ops they do that) or they might fire a tear gas canister at them (ops they did that too, Tristen Anderson and Emily Henochowicz) or crush them with a bulldozer (Rachel Corrie). What a wonderful ally. Israel is showcase of a modern, vibrant and inclusive democracy.

    • sandhillexit
      March 12, 2013, 8:15 pm

      The State Dept. prevented Mr. Ramadan, a future leader in the profoundly important and friendly nation of Egypt, from entering the U.S. and teaching at the Univ. of Notre Dame, because, of course, the Roman Catholics of Northern Indiana were at serious risk of undue influence from radical, political Islam and had to be shielded for their own good. Such a dangerous thing, dialogue between university-educated American Catholics and university-educated Egyptian Muslims. It was positively Straussian in its incoherence. And today, when direct friendships with significant actors in Egyptian society…outside the army…would be very helpful, America has been handicapped for “our own good.”

      • Annie Robbins
        March 13, 2013, 1:42 am

        It was positively Straussian in its incoherence.

        no doubt.

  15. kma
    March 6, 2013, 9:17 pm

    jews who have Israeli citizenship are often denied entry because of their activism. Shapiro could be denied even if he had it. so it means that Israel is NOT the safe haven for Jews. it is only a place for zionism.
    the irony of it is that the people who do the best of God’s work are Israel’s enemies, Jewish or not. that is NOT the “covenant” they were offered by God to re-take “Israel” (if that is the ultimate excuse). it is THE OPPOSITE.

    so many of the BEST people are denied entry with (or without) Israeli citizenship.

    there you have it.

  16. Ellen
    March 6, 2013, 9:48 pm

    Biorabbi, regarding the state of Israel: am proud of her…

    What does that mean? Referring to an abstract legal entity as “her?”

    Why do some refer to Israel with gender as if this legalism is a person, animal or some kind of living being?

    I do not get it. Sounds soooooo weird.

    • justicewillprevail
      March 7, 2013, 6:38 am

      Totally with you on that. I have noticed it a few times, as if Israel is some virtuous maiden, virgin queen….yeuch, and absurd. Actually i can’t think of a less likely candidate for female gender attributes than a repressive, macho military state.

    • amigo
      March 7, 2013, 7:44 am

      Ellen, maybe the Biorabbi views Israel as “Mother ” Earth.

      • justicewillprevail
        March 7, 2013, 2:21 pm

        Huh, I think the mother fantasy is more like Psycho.

      • Cliff
        March 7, 2013, 2:37 pm


    • Bumblebye
      March 7, 2013, 3:08 pm

      Since Israel also originated as a man’s name and still is often a man’s name, that makes it even more absurd to refer to the country in the feminine.

  17. Elliot
    March 6, 2013, 10:58 pm

    Thanks for the article. Excellent way of showing the big issues through a particular instance.
    I traveled to Israel recently and noticed the targeting of young activists. As we got off the plane, a couple of plain clothes security men pulled over a young blond couple and asked for their passports. The couple were asked some questions. I didn’t see the end of this.
    This couple were the only people in the area who were not identifiably Jewish or Christian. There were some olive skinned people who looked Palestinian to me, but the officers ignored them.
    Seems like Israel has a special unit dedicated to identifying and deporting activists.

    • Obsidian
      March 7, 2013, 3:50 am


      “As we got off the plane, a couple of plain clothes security men pulled over a young blond couple and asked for their passports.”

      Did this happen before you entered the Passport Control area?

      • Cliff
        March 7, 2013, 2:37 pm

        Where is the passport control area typically, proudracist?

      • Elliot
        March 7, 2013, 4:26 pm

        Yes. It was at the top of the ramp from the gate just before we joined the main walkway leading to passport control.

  18. eibieman
    March 6, 2013, 11:07 pm

    The point that is missed here is that despite the vaunted Zionist claim of the Right of Return for all Jewish people as a principle and constitutional provision in Israel, there is no Right of Return for Jewish people after all. It is only for Zionist Jewish people, much like the historic Zionist practice of saving Zionists from the Nazis but not other Jewish people, the majority. Zionism is just one big lie.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      March 7, 2013, 5:25 am

      Right. The Law of Return gave “Jews” the “right of return” with the exception of “enemies of the Jewish people”; who is to be regarded as an “enemy” is at the discretion of the minister of internal affairs. Who is a “Jew” is a complicated matter, with slight differences between one law and another. Basically, a Jew does not have to be an active Zionist to immigrate to Israel (other reasons are possible for wanting to immigrate) but it is doubtful whether an active anti-Zionist would be allowed to immigrate. As such people generally wouldn’t want to anyway, it may remain a hypothetical question.

  19. Obsidian
    March 7, 2013, 3:46 am

    “Right of Return….. for Zionist Jewish people”

    Actually, Israel doesn’t want Jews with criminal records making aliyah either. Nor do they want outlawed groups like Kahanists.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 7, 2013, 2:16 pm

      Israel doesn’t want Jews with criminal records

      you’ve got to be kidding us? would you like to rethink that statement?

      • justicewillprevail
        March 7, 2013, 2:20 pm

        Ha ha, so Israel doesn’t want Jonathan Pollard then, a convicted traitor and spy? Better tell Bibi.

      • Obsidian
        March 7, 2013, 3:05 pm

        In order to make aliyah I had to get certified background checks done by the police department for me and my 86 y.o. mother.

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 7, 2013, 2:22 pm

      “Actually, Israel doesn’t want Jews with criminal records making aliyah either.”

      Unless the person is the traitorous rat Pollard, right?

    • Cliff
      March 7, 2013, 2:33 pm

      How do you know what Israel wants, proudracist666?

      Israel has time and again provided shelter to racists, rapists, murderers, ethnic cleansers, etc. etc.

      In fact, Israel was founded by such high-caliber people.

    • Bumblebye
      March 7, 2013, 2:44 pm

      Well gosh, Oblivious, how do you explain all the felons who flee to Israel and then cannot be extradited? Unless Israel decides that crimes in other countries jes don’t count? Specially if the victims are either kids or not Jewish.

      • Obsidian
        March 7, 2013, 3:07 pm


        Like who? Provide names please.

      • sardelapasti
        March 7, 2013, 3:21 pm

        Bumblebye – “…how do you explain all the felons who flee to Israel and then cannot be extradited?”

        Extradite national heroes? Unheard of.

      • tree
        March 7, 2013, 4:05 pm

        No Jewish criminals? Like this one?

        The JDL was suspected in two high-profile murders over the years. One came in 1972 when a bomb exploded in impresario Sol Hurok’s Manhattan office on Jan. 26. The explosion killed his receptionist, Iris Kones, 27, while Hurok and 12 others were injured. The JDL was suspected because Hurok was bringing Soviet performers to the United States.6

        The next year, Jerome Zeller, an American JDL member, was indicted on charges of planting the bomb at Hurok’s office. He had since moved to Israel and his extradition was requested. Israeli authorities arrested the American expatriate but released him on $1,200 bail. He later was wounded in the 1973 war. Afterwards, the U.S. again requested extradition, but the response was, said U.S. Attorney Joseph Jaffe, who prosecuted the case, “You can…hold your breath until you die cause you ain’t going to get him because he’s a national hero.” Zeller was later reported living in the occupied West Bank among militant settlers.7

        Or this one, suspected in the murder of Alex Odeh?

        One of the suspects was Robert Manning, 36, of Los Angeles, a JDL member. He and his wife, Rochelle, moved to Israel, where he joined the Israel Defense Forces. FBI agents said Manning and others were also suspected of being involved in a year-long series of violent incidents in 1985 including the August house-bomb slaying of Tscherim Soobzokov, of Paterson, N.J., a suspected Nazi war criminal; the Aug. 16 attempted bombing of the Boston ADC office in which two policemen were severely wounded; the September bombing at the Brentwood, Long Island home of alleged Nazi Elmars Sprogis, in which a 23-year-old passerby lost a leg, and the Oct. 29 fire at the ADC office in Washington, DC, which was called arson.9

        By December 1985, FBI Director William H. Webster warned that Arab Americans had entered a “zone of danger” and were targets of an unnamed group seeking to harm the “enemies of Israel.”10

        Manning and his wife lived in the radical Kiryat Arba settlement in Israel’s occupied West Bank until March 25, 1991 when, after two years of pressure, Israel acceded to U.S. extradition demands.11

        The case caused critics to charge U.S. media bias against Arabs, noting that a week earlier the killing of American Jew Leon Klinghoffer aboard the hijacked Achille Lauro received heavy media coverage. They pointed out The New York Times devoted 1,043 column inches to Klinghoffer while devoting only 14 inches to Odeh’s death.12

        Israeli police finally arrested the Mannings on March 24, 1991. Although strongly suspected in the Odeh murder, they were charged in a separate suit involving the 1980 letter-bomb murder of California secretary Patricia Wilkerson.13 Robert Manning, but not his wife, was eventually extradited to the United States on July 18, 1993, and was found guilty on Oct. 14, 1993, of complicity in the Wilkerson murder.14–jewish-defense-league-unleashes-campaign-of-violence-in-america.html

        JWeekly, in 1998, covered the problem of US Jewish indictees fleeing to Israel.

        “Israel extradition law offers help to alleged criminals”

        This was still a problem in 2008 when Arnie Zaler, hog dog magnate and and former head of the Zionist Federation of Colorado, fled the country for Israel. He eventually returned to the US “voluntarily” (he was alleged to have been facing fraud charges in Israel as well) and was convicted and sentenced to 15 years for swindling investors of over 2.5 million dollars.

        Of course the most notorious case was that of Samuel Shenbein, who murdered and dismembered his classmate at school and fled to Israel to avoid charges, and applied for and was given Israeli citizenship. Israel refused to extradite but offered a compromise to sentence Shenbein( who entered a plea bargain in Israel) and incarcerate him in an Israeli prison. He was sentenced to 24 years, eligible for parole in 16 years, which would be two years from now.

      • Obsidian
        March 8, 2013, 3:53 pm

        There is a difference between fleeing arrest and prosecution and making aliyah through Israel’s immigration ministry .
        There is a difference between what transpired in Israel 35 years ago and what happens today. Israel has extradited plenty of criminals in order that they be prosecuted in the United States. I believe that one of Israel’s mafia dons is doing hard time in the United States.

    • ckg
      March 7, 2013, 3:42 pm

      Arab-American Alex Odeh’s alleged murderers, all Kahanists, fled to an Israeli settlement on the West Bank to escape U.S. justice.

    • ckg
      March 7, 2013, 3:57 pm

      And then there is Meyer Lansky, the real-life mobster who is the basis for the Hyman Roth character in Godfather II. Like Roth, Lansky fled to Israel to escape U.S. prosecution. It took the FBI two years to extradite him.

      • jon s
        March 7, 2013, 4:45 pm

        As I recall ,Lansky was denied citizenship, because of being an alleged criminal. He tied up the courts for a couple of years but eventually lost.

    • RoHa
      March 7, 2013, 8:32 pm

      “Israel doesn’t want Jews with criminal records”

      Certainly gets plenty, though.

  20. Obsidian
    March 7, 2013, 5:47 am

    When and how does a person decide to give up his ordinary life, and instead, transform that life into a ‘mission’?

    I made aliyah to Israel and I don’t love Zionism nearly as much as the Shapiros hate it.
    I don’t get them?

    • Woody Tanaka
      March 7, 2013, 2:22 pm

      “I made aliyah to Israel and I don’t love Zionism nearly as much as the Shapiros hate it.
      I don’t get them?”

      It’s because you have no morality. You’re happy benefiting from the criminality of your state. They’re offended by it.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 7, 2013, 3:11 pm

        i doubt if the shapiros ‘hate’ anyway. how could they work so tirelessly for freedom w/hate in their hearts. these zios, constantly attributing hate to their enemies. it gets sooooo redundant. i guess they think it’s a point scoring thing,but it’s dumb. try saying the soldiers who murders those kids recently are hateful and he’d be all defending them likity split.

      • Obsidian
        March 7, 2013, 3:35 pm


        I feel something be directed at me and at the other Zionists on this blog and it’s not love.

      • sardelapasti
        March 7, 2013, 3:19 pm

        Woody – to Obsidious “I made aliyah to Israel…”
        “It’s because you have no morality”

        Well said.

        Would be better, though, to completely boycott the alley-ooper Zionist, now that he finally has confessed to it. He is officially a Zionist entity citizen and obviously not a deserter. In fact, a proud propaganda agent.

        These people will never feel the boycott if not shunned in all everyday exchanges with the civilized world. Never.

        The tenderized “rules” of some committees are designed for tender Zionists. We don’t have to abide by that kind of stuff.

      • Obsidian
        March 7, 2013, 3:22 pm


        And what State are you a citizen of?

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 12, 2013, 4:14 pm

        “And what State are you a citizen of?”

        The one which I was born in, the USA.

    • Cliff
      March 7, 2013, 2:36 pm

      How much do they hate Zionism if they hate Zionism at all. How much do you love Zionism?

      Can you quantify it, proudracist?

      The question of love or hating Zionism is absurd. Zionism is a racist, oppressive, colonialist movement for Jews uprooting the indigenous population.

      By definition, no one should be judged for hating Zionism. Zionism is one of the central causes of destruction in the ME.

      It subverts American democracy and the freedom of millions.

      Zionism is a lie.

    • Light
      March 7, 2013, 3:01 pm

      I moved to Mississippi in 1960 and I don’t love segregation nearly as much as the civil rights activists hate it.
      I don’t get them?

    • jon s
      March 7, 2013, 3:54 pm

      Let me get this straight: the anti-Israel activist couple are making a huge effort to obtain Israeli citizenship for their child. According to the quote provided by Allison, Mr.Shapiro has a problem even acknowledging “the existence of the state”, yet they want to make sure that their kid will be entitled to the citizenship of that state.
      Anyone notice a bit of hypocrisy here?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 7, 2013, 4:07 pm

        huwaida is palestinian, both parents want to make sure their child can travel there freely and visit her homeland, given the restrictions. that’s not so hard to understand is it? how is she to go back there and visit her family if her baby is denied entry in the future? and what if the child should want to inherit the family home or something, when he grows up? this is not nothing. palestinians who have the right to enter palestine, want to pass that onto their children. that is normal.

      • tree
        March 7, 2013, 4:10 pm

        Oh yes, its “Soooo hypocritical” of a mother to want her son or daughter to be able to visit and get to know his extended family in Israel/Palestine, something that Israel has routinely denied to Palestinians who are not Israeli citizens for decades.

        The hypocrisy is solely on Israel’s part here. Why is it so hard for some Israeli Jews to understand that Palestinians deserve the same rights as Jews? Why is it so hard for YOU to understand that, jon?

      • jon s
        March 7, 2013, 4:39 pm

        Fine. I wish them well and hope that the baby will be healthy and that they remember that obtaining citizenship – in any country, including Israel – goes with an obligation to be a loyal and law-abiding citizen.

      • eljay
        March 8, 2013, 10:11 am

        >> … obtaining citizenship – in any country, including Israel – goes with an obligation to be a loyal and law-abiding citizen.

        And so they should be loyal to Israel – the secular, democratic and egalitarian state of and for all Israelis, equally. But they should not be loyal to supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • tree
        March 8, 2013, 2:23 pm

        obtaining citizenship – in any country, including Israel – goes with an obligation to be a loyal and law-abiding citizen.

        Question for you, jon. Do you consider US blacks (and white civil rights activists) in the Jim Crow South to have been “disloyal” because they opposed racist laws in the US and fought for equal civil rights using civil disobedience? Do you think they were wrong or right to try to make the US a less racist country? Because what they did is equivalent to what Adam and Huwaida are doing in Israel, and yet you feel the need to ‘remind’ those two that they should be ‘loyal’ to Israel, as if making Israel a less racist country is some kind of disloyalty rather than a higher form of loyalty than you are exhibiting here.

        Its a serious question on my part, not a rhetorical one. Do you think that those who fought for justice and equality in the US were being disloyal to the US? Please help me understand your mindset.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 8, 2013, 3:24 pm

        “that they remember that obtaining citizenship – in any country, including Israel – goes with an obligation to be a loyal… citizen.”

        No, it doesn’t. In any free society, one is permitted to dislike one’s country, to hold no loyalty to it, and to actively work, within the law, for its change and/or destruction and replacement with something more equitable and better.

      • jon s
        March 10, 2013, 5:29 pm

        (sorry about not replying sooner -and that you had to remind me on another thread. I can’t spend all my time on MW)
        I’ve always admired the civi rights movement and the way they used non-violent tactics to achieve a worthy goal. They weren’t disloyal: they exemplified all that is good in America.
        If Huwaida and Adam are non-violent activists and their goal is -in your words – “making Israel a less racist country” then I share that goal and I even try to do my small part. If they seek to end Israel’s existence – then I’ve got a problem with them. The civil rights activists in the American South did not question – much less oppose – America’s existence.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 11, 2013, 11:10 am

        ” They weren’t disloyal: they exemplified all that is good in America.”

        If you asked the white racists (the eqivalent to the zionists in this example), they were both disloyal and exemplified all that was bad in America because to them, America was both a white country and a democracy. (Sound familiar??) The civil rights people were ruining all that.

        “If Huwaida and Adam are non-violent activists and their goal is -in your words – ‘making Israel a less racist country’ then I share that goal and I even try to do my small part. If they seek to end Israel’s existence – then I’ve got a problem with them.”

        This is a complete contradiction. zionism = racism, so if one were to remove the racism from the zionist Entity, then one would do what you say you have a problem with.

        “The civil rights activists in the American South did not question – much less oppose – America’s existence.”

        They opposed an America which was a white supremacist state. No doubt if the only way that the white supremacacy could have been removed was to destroy the state and replace it with one that was not racist, they would have favored that.

      • Cliff
        March 7, 2013, 4:42 pm

        They aren’t anti-Israel activists because the world does not revolved around Israel.

        They – unlike you – have morals. They are standing up for the Palestinians. They are activists and that is their cause. Not being ‘anti-Israel’.

        Although, if being anti-Israel means being pro-human rights and anti-colonialism then being ‘anti-Israel’ is a MORAL IMPERATIVE.

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 7, 2013, 4:45 pm

        “Mr.Shapiro has a problem even acknowledging “the existence of the state”, yet they want to make sure that their kid will be entitled to the citizenship of that state.
        Anyone notice a bit of hypocrisy here?”

        No hypocrisy. That state, whether they like it or not, is the power occupying Palestine. The child will be part Palestinian and they don’t want that vile state to do to that child what it has done to millions of people by denying them entry into their state.

      • Obsidian
        March 8, 2013, 4:02 pm


        Where did you say you hail from?

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 11, 2013, 11:02 am

        “Where did you say you hail from?”

        Have I said? What does it matter? It’s not relevant in any way.

      • tree
        March 7, 2013, 6:57 pm


        This is from Neta Golan, who is a Jewish Israeli citizen who lives in Nablus in the occupied West Bank with her West Bank Palestinian husband. It was written in 2003, but it could easily have been written today. Maybe you will start to “get it” if you read this.

        My father passed away last week.

        I took Nawal, my two month old daughter, and attempted to go to Tel Aviv to attend the funeral and grieve with my family. Nablus, the city I live in, was besieged and completely sealed off. This has been the case for most of the last two years. Israeli soldiers threatened to shoot anyone approaching the checkpoint.

        I had a letter from the hospital regarding a checkup that Nawal needed to do in Ramallah so we arrived at the Hawara check point in an ambulance. The ambulance stopped at the designated place. The soldiers did not shoot, thank God, but they also did not approach us. After about half an hour the driver decided to try to speak to them. He stepped out of the ambulance. Guns were pointed in his direction. He stepped back in. All we could do was wait.

        All the while settler buses headed for the settlements that surround Nablus whisked past unchecked. Swallowing my outrage I thanked God that my baby was not suffering, that no one in the ambulance was in critical condition. The soldiers had no way of knowing that. But had they known it is likely it would have made no difference.


        On the day of my father’s funeral we were “only” delayed for an hour. It was the third time Nawal made this journey since her birth. Despite the risk involved in getting in and out I came often because I knew my father was dying. I needed him to see his first grandchild, to tell him I loved him, to say goodbye. After the funeral we spent a week with our Israeli family.

        My husband, who is Palestinian, is forbidden to enter the part of Israel/Palestine that was occupied in 1948. It was hard that he could not be with me. But I knew that I was privileged to be able to grieve with my family.

        I kept thinking of my friend Amal, one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, with huge hazel eyes and dark black hair. Her family was forced to leave Palestine for Jordan before she was born. Her husband, Abed, is from the West Bank. They have two beautiful children. If she leaves the West Bank, to see her family in Jordan, she will not be allowed back. Her parents have only seen their grandchildren in pictures. Her father was old and ill and she could not see him. He died and she could not be at his burial or comfort her mother.

        Honestly, jon, you begrudge Arraf and Shapiro the only legal avenue that might guarantee that Israel will allow their child to see his or her relatives in Israel/Palestine? You think the problem is with them and NOT with Israel’s heartless and bigoted policies?

      • Obsidian
        March 8, 2013, 4:11 pm

        So in the midst of fighting between the IDF and Palestinians in and around Nablus, this grieving woman is delayed entry in Israel for one hour. Ouch.

        Is anyone shocked that her Arab husband would be denied entry during this time of fighting?

      • Woody Tanaka
        March 11, 2013, 11:05 am

        “So in the midst of fighting between the IDF and Palestinians in and around Nablus, this grieving woman is delayed entry in Israel for one hour. Ouch.”

        Typical what passes for “humanity” among the zionists.

        “Is anyone shocked that her Arab husband would be denied entry during this time of fighting?”

        Not shocked, given that judeo-supremacist racists control and occupy Palestine.

    • Citizen
      March 14, 2013, 8:20 am

      @ Obsidian
      So why did you leave the land you were born and bred in to go live in Israel, if you were not on a transforming mission? For a cheaper home subsidized by the Israeli government (with US tax dollars)?

  21. HarryLaw
    March 7, 2013, 6:12 am

    Professor Norman Finkelstein will have served half of his 10 year ban this year, imposed in 2008, he says for his political views, I’m sure he is counting the day’s.

    • Obsidian
      March 7, 2013, 3:14 pm

      Norman know perfectly well that he wasn’t banned for his political views (and I’d like to see the cite where he’d said that).
      He was deported from Ben Gurion airport because he refused to cooperate with Israeli officials who had asked him questions about his meetings with Hezbollah in Lebanon a few weeks earlier.

    • Elliot
      March 7, 2013, 4:27 pm

      Why bother. It’s like getting a new passport. They will renew the ban automatically in 2018.

  22. Nevada Ned
    March 12, 2013, 5:22 pm

    Actually the whole affair demonstrates how important Adam Shapiro and the International Solidarity Movement really is. Israel is so afraid of Adam Shapiro that they banned him. It’s quite rare for a Jew to be banned by Israel*. Off the top of my head, I can think of Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein. So, Shapiro has been placed (by Israel) in the same category as Noam Chomsky, the world’s most prominent left-wing intellectual!!

    The next time that Adam Shapiro gives a public speech, he should advertise it with a leaflet bearing the headline


    *Oh, wait. I thought of a third one: Meyer Lansky, the gangster, deported by Israel in 1972. Israel’s law of return excludes Jews with criminal pasts. (But war criminals are not deported).

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