There are few places in Israel where its apartheid character is more conspicuous than the imposing international airport just outside Tel Aviv, named after the country’s founding father, David Ben Gurion. Jonathan Cook writes that Peter Beinart’s interrogation at Ben Gurion airport was just the opening salvo in the Israeli right’s war against Jewish dissent: “It is a slope liberal Jews will find gets ever more slippery.”
Category Archives: Ben Gurion Airport
Jonathan Ofir writes that Reza Aslan’s decision to speak out about the abuse he received trying to enter Israel after Peter Beinart made his story public reminds him of the momentum and grass roots power of the MeToo movement: “There is this element of a critical mass, where people actually start to listen. It’s no longer a lone voice here, a single story there – it becomes a movement.”
Meyer Koplow is the chair of Brandeis University and gives millions to Israel. He was interrogated at the Israeli airport two days ago because he had a pamphlet with the word Palestine on it and had visited the West Bank with a pro-Israel group called Encounter. Security accused him of lying and misrepresenting Encounter’s aims– in another sign of growing chasm between US Jews and Israeli Jews.
Israeli border authorities on Monday denied entry to Raed Jarrar, an American citizen and the advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA. Jarrar was on his way his way to be with family and grieve the recent death of his father, but was instead turned back to Jordan, as Israeli authorities refused to allow him entry. In a statement released by Amnesty condemning the denial, the group said Jarrar’s refusal was a “retaliation against the organization’s human rights work.” Meanwhile, Israel’s Foreign Ministry told local media that Jarrar, whose family is originally Palestinian, was denied on a personal basis due to his alleged “BDS activities.”
Al-Shabaka’s Inès Abdel Razek has been asked the same questions about her homeland so many times that she decided to write a simple document to answer them. She writes, “During these conversations, I wish I had a simple leaflet I could hand to my interlocutors that would lay out the answers I end up diligently repeating. This is where the idea of this FAQ emerged.”
Hip-hop artist Abu Rahss is denied from entering Israel in order to be a counselor a skateboarding summer camp: “Unfortunately, I was denied entry after eight hours of being interrogated aggressively and treated unpleasantly by Israeli border security at the Allenby Bridge border crossing with Jordan.”
The Washington D.C.-based music collective, FHTMG (Jefe, PacMan Slim, and Nine Five) releases a music video inspired by Jefe’s interrogation at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport.
Yesterday, New Israel Fund exec Jennifer Gorovitz was detained at Ben Gurion airport for 90 minutes. Organization protests that she is a Jew and a Zionist.
For Arab travelers through Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, it is common knowledge that lengthy questioning and strip searches come before boarding. As it turns out, forcing passengers into airport back rooms and requiring them to remove clothing is illegal under Israeli law, says legal rights group Adalah.
A Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor analysis of UN data show that a recent surge in reports of deportations of individuals attempting to transit through Israel to work with Palestinians is apparently the result of an official strategy implemented by the Israeli government beginning in January of this year.
Hanna is a “17-year-old American girl” who grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. Because her father is a U.S. citizen born in Morocco, and she was traveling with a notebook that had one page of Arabic writing in it, she was subjected to an interrogation and strip search when leaving Israel’s Ben Gurion airport.
Israel has banned an American activist who has worked for years helping Palestinians in Gaza, after denying her entry into the country, detaining her for hours and deporting her against her will. The woman’s ban comes after Israel banned five U.S. citizens at the border in July, all of them the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, and another American woman last week crossing from Jordan.
Moara Crivelente, Brazilian journalist and activist, reports on her detainment and deportation at the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport: “Scattered inscriptions written with toothpaste and food on the bunks and walls of an Israeli facility at the Ministry of Interior Population, Immigration and Borders Authority (PIBA) declare: ‘for each International Solidarity Movement you deport back home, ten more will come!’ Me and many before me read those words as we waited for our deportation. After hours of interrogation at the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, we received a 10-year ban from entering the State of Israel for ‘security reasons.’ With no further explanation, we were declared a threat.”
On July 17, 2016, a group of young American delegates traveled to Israel-Palestine in order to observe the conditions under which Palestinians live, and to gain a better understanding of the situation on the ground. Upon their arrival, a US Campaign staffer and four other members of the group — all carrying US passports — were interrogated by Israeli border police about their backgrounds and political involvement. Four of the five delegates who were questioned, held, and denied entry were people of color and Muslim, and the fifth had a long beard. Israel has ethnically and religiously profiled visitors so often that the State Department’s travel advisory for Israel reads: “Some US citizens of Arab or Muslim heritage not on the Palestinian Population Registry or otherwise prohibited from entering Israel have experienced significant difficulties and unequal and hostile treatment at Israel’s borders and checkpoints.”
Ben Gurion Airport is known for nightmarish stories of harassment and humiliation. But when Adam Horowitz, an American Jew, enters Israeli border control, he is barely asked a question.
Miakoda Wolin-Collins shares her experience traveling in Gaza and the harassment she experienced when leaving Israel/Palestine through the Ben Gurion Airport.
On an American Christian trip to the occupied territories, Rev. Jeffrey DeYoe’s group picks olives, meets highly-educated Palestinians and sees that they don’t even have the right to demonstrate against the occupation.
This past semester Tom Suarez was the violin and viola teacher at the Gaza branch of Palestine’s National Conservatory of Music—”though I never met my students, because Israel blocked me from entering the coastal strip. So I taught by Skype from the West Bank as best I could”
George Khoury tells a harrowing story of being detained and deported from Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. Khoury, an American citizen, was attempting to visit his homeland for the first time in 21 years. Even though he was traveling with an American passport an airport security agent told him, “You belong with the Palestinian people. This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel.”
On April 19, two French music students were held overnight at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport and humiliated, interrogated, strip-searched, and then deported all because their destination was Palestine, where they had previously taught music. The authors relate their story in order to oppose the “violation of intimacy, psychological torture, dehumanization, racism, theft, trauma” that often greet travelers at Ben Gurion.
Samah Assad was detained in Ben Gurion airport as she visited her family home in Palestine for the first time in 13 years. Upset and angry, she asked her father how he can deal with the discrimination and abuse year and year when he visits. His answer: “When we return every year, that is how we fight. If we keep returning, we show them that this is our home. And we’re not giving it up.”
Julia Carmel describes her experience being denied entry to Israel/Palestine this summer where she planned to study Arabic in Beit Sahour.
A Palestinian-American teenager was denied from exiting Israel via Ben Gurion airport and told she must travel through the land crossing with Jordan. While detained she learned, to her surprise Israeli security no longer considered her an American citizen with American travel privileges. The Palestinian identification card her family filed for her the year before, a registry requirement for children of West Bank Palestinian ID holders, erases her rights as a U.S. citizen.
Rachelle Friesen shares her shocking story of being deported from Israel after working in Israel/Palestine for four years with the Mennonite Central Committee.
Andrea Pesce is a 44-year-old Italian tourist who flew to Ben Gurion airport on his way to a month-long vacation in Bethlehem. He expected the routine security checks the Israeli airport is known for, but he never could have anticipated what was in store for him. He writes after finding out his entry to Israel/Palestine was denied: “I was told that I was going to stay in a separate facility, waiting for the flight back to Italy. This is the beginning of the nightmare.”