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Ben Gurion Airport

Defying Racism: A Palestinian musician’s ordeal at Ben Gurion Airport

Nai Barghouti on

Nai Barghouti shares a story of being racially profiled and harassed at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport: “As furious as I am at the Israeli security officer’s ugly racism and vengefulness, I felt slightly bad for her. Despite her best efforts to humiliate me, I shall go on resisting her state’s racism and apartheid with my music. She, however, will continue to search Palestinians’ underwear and be an insignificant tool of a system of racist oppression.”

In detaining Peter Beinart, Israel has declared it no longer represents millions of Jews overseas

Jonathan Cook on

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.”

Israel’s border interrogations and the ‘MeToo’ cascade

Jonathan Ofir on

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.”

Leading US Israel supporter is abused at Israeli airport for having ‘Palestine’ pamphlet

Philip Weiss on

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.

Israel denies entry to Amnesty International staffer due to alleged ‘BDS activities’

Sheren Khalel on

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.”

The 13 questions on life in Palestine that non-Palestinians always ask me

Inès Abdel Razek on

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.”

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

Abu Rahss on

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

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

Allison Deger on

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

Israel bans entry for two more US activists

Wilson Dizard on

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

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

Moara Crivelente on

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

Five US citizens detained, interrogated, denied entry to Israel

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation on

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

My one word interrogation at Ben Gurion airport

Adam Horowitz on

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

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

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey DeYoe on

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

Israel vs the Violin

Tom Suarez on

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

‘This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel’: A Palestinian-American’s story of being detained at Ben Gurion airport

George Khoury on

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

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

Philomène Constant and Bastien Anthoine on

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

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

Samah Assad on

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

Entry Denied

Julia Carmel on

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

Palestinian-American teen denied access to Israel’s airport

Allison Deger on

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