I am working on a film titled The Coming Intifada (Working Title) that blends radical thought and action in the struggle for Palestinian liberation and freedom. In connection with the film, I was denied entry into Palestine on October 10, 2015 while returning to be with family and friends in these difficult times. I was deported by Israel after 15 hours of detention, interrogation, a strip search and a body cavity search. The reason I was deported (in their words) was for the “prevention of illegal immigration” and “public security or public safety or public order consideration.” I was escorted onto an Alitalia to Rome with my U.S. Passport handed over to the flight Captain with instructions to return my passport only once we have landed. Attached is a copy of the Letter I was given by the Israeli authorities.
Palestine is where I was raised and it is where my home, family and people are. Below are some pictures of our house in the town of Al-Bireh, where I am from. I will not accept my denial of entry, nor as American citizen will I accept being discriminated against by Israel because I am Palestinian and carry an Arab name. I will also continue my work and double down on my activism.
Of course, I am not the first Palestinian to be denied entry into their homeland nor will I be the last. But it is clear that Israel has escalated this practice and we should discover effective ways to fight back.
Resistance begins by finding each other and organizing together, which could include pressure points such as racist NY City Council Members and other Local Representatives. Direct Action may be in order, as well, in due course. I have launched this Facebook Event Page, which I urge you to share and circulate with something like the following status: “Israel has escalated its practice of denying entry to Palestinian-Americans and Palestinians of other nationalities. This is also a denial of the fundamental right of person to return and to belong to a place they and their families call home. This event page, being initiated by a Palestinian in NYC, is used as a forum for similarly situated Palestinians to find each other, connect and begin collectively organizing against this racist, colonial practice. Spread the word. #NYC2Palestine.”