Here is yet another story of a Palestinian being harassed while trying to travel through Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport. Anonymous lives in Berkeley, her father is Palestinian and her mother is Jewish. Here she recounts how she was interrogated and strip searched while trying to leave Israel/Palestine after visiting family in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, “I had been mistreated, combed out of the crowd and profiled, my time wasted and my dignity subsequently stepped all over without a second thought. I had been treated like a criminal for having an identity that I was born into, told explicitly in each of these actions that I did not belong here and had no place here at all as a person with Palestinian heritage. Harassed and picked out from the rest because of my name, my history, the assumptions that go with them, and my very intention to visit my family, many of who cannot visit me in the USA.”
Category Archives: Ben Gurion Airport
Amena Saleem tells her story of being detained and interrogated at Ben Gurion airport while trying to work with children in a Bethlehem school.
After ‘confirming she was a Muslim’, Israeli authorities interrogated an American graduate student for 8 hours and strip-searched her multiple times, according to a report by the Arab-American Institute, a collection of stories from American citizens who say they were harassed, detained or deported when trying to enter Israel. The stories were published as the battle over legislation granting Israelis visa-free entry to the U.S. heats up. One of the incidents documented was the 2006 case of the Iranian-American graduate student who had top security clearance in the US.
Moe Diab (above) is a 25-year-old Palestinian-American, born and raised in San Diego, California. He was raised to be proud of his Palestinian heritage and culture, and to be conscious of the daily Palestinian struggles against oppression. Diab’s American upbringing instilled in him an appreciation for freedom, liberty, justice and equality. He never truly understood the significance of universal human rights in his daily American life, but became well aware of them during a trip to Israel/Palestine when Israeli authorities stripped these so-called inalienable rights away from him.
Mira Awad, a Palestinian Israeli singer, has recounted her “huge humiliation” at Ben Gurion airport involving an “Arab sticker” on her passport
Yet another Palestinian solidarity activist is questioned for hours on entering Israel and refused entry to the occupied territories. Frank Barat, a coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, had wanted to visit friends in the West Bank. But Israeli security officials demanded he open his email account, so they could see whom he was in touch with. Barat gave a second email account. His story follows
Balad’s Secretary General Awad Abdel Fattah recounts a heated exchange he had with a Shin Bet agent as he attempted to return to Israel/Palestine from Amman, Jordan.
Mark Kerrison was detained at Ben Gurion airport and then deported earlier this month for reasons that were never explained, though border officials seemed very concerned that he might talk to Palestinians. Here he relates his ordeal, including one comfort he had in jail: “My eyes were most drawn, though, to some words in small, inconspicuous lettering immediately above my head: ‘I don’t pretend to know night-time from day, but if I were your God I’d have something to say.’”
Nour Joudah, 25, was a teacher at a Friends School in Ramallah that is funded by the US government– that is, until Israeli border authorities twice prevented her from returning to her 90 students after winter break. In a letter to the president, she urges him to address Israel’s discriminatory treatment of Arab-Americans during his visit to Israel and Palestine later this week
Here is an important story from Palestine: Nour Joudah, 25, a Palestinian-American masters graduate of Georgetown who teaches at the Friends School in Ramallah was denied entry into Israel on Monday. This is the second time in two months Israel has stopped Joudah from going back to her classes in Palestine. In a heartbreaking goodbye to her students Joudah writes, “I’ll always be your teacher. The Israelis can’t take that from me or from you . . Remember – just because I lost this small fight now, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth fighting – and it doesn’t mean the larger fight is over. Never let anyone keep you from living in your country.”
The Palestinian political party Balad issued a press release today charging that authorities at Ben Gurion airport routinely harass and detain the party’s secretary general Awad Abdel Fattah (pictured above).
On Friday we posted Sandra Tamari’s experience of being ignored by the US Embassy as she was denied entry to Israel. Here is another similar story. Najwa Doughman and Sasha Al-Sarabi share their 14-hour nightmare at Ben Gurion airport for the crime of being born to Arab parents.
“What is your father’s name?” “James.” “What is his father’s name?” “Andrew.” “Where are you going?” “Bethlehem.” “Where are you staying there?” “At the Lajee Center in Aida Refugee Camp.” That is as far as my conversation at Israeli passport control goes. I am at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, one of dozens of […]
The episode of the ‘flytilla’ and the treatment meted out to those who managed to reach Ben Gurion airport brought to mind the experience of someone I first met 3 years ago. H is from a western country and before her retirement she had a long career as a nurse. She is a firm Christian […]
A report over the weekend in Maariv said that IDF special forces went on a flight from Geneva in Ben-Gurion Airport to sort the passengers between “pro Palestinian activists” and the rest of the passengers. Eventually, they deported 25 people. This is only one of many events that took place as over 600 peace activists […]
This post originally appeared on +972. Reider adds that he’s not sure how long the process described below has been in place. Israel responded to the “flytilla” with a wildly disproportionate deployment of police and extraordinary security checks. But Palestinian citizens of Israel are discriminated at the Ben Gurion Airport on an hourly basis – […]
The Israeli government has redeployed some of its flotilla hyperbole arsenal in preparation for the upcoming “Welcome to Palestine” campaign. During this initiative activists are flying to Ben Gurion airport and announcing their intention to travel to the West Bank when interviewed at passport control. Benjamin Netenyahu has said this simple act constitutes “a continuation […]
From July 8-16, I will join hundreds of internationals for a week of solidarity actions in coordination with 15 Palestinian civil resistance organizations in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. To my knowledge, this will be the first attempt to bring such a large number of internationals—already over 500, according to organizers—to the West Bank and East Jerusalem […]
I’m too distracted to fall asleep. Everyone is quietly snoring. The sun rises ever so slowly and the wings of the plane rudely cut through the calmness of the clouds. It’s hard to believe that the intensity of the sun repeats itself with this beauty every day. That it’s not for this special day that […]
Free speech is a problem in the Middle East. The chief English editor for the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, Jared Malsin, late of Vermont, has been detained at Ben Gurion airport, with a hearing set for Saturday. Apparently he was on El Al. Apparently he is Jewish, or half-Jewish. And has even gone on the […]
I am a Palestinian refugee, from the village of Fallujah which lies between Gaza, Hebron and Asqalan. I’ve never been allowed to visit Fallujah; my grandparents were exiled from there in 1949 (a year after the founding of Israel) and took refuge in the Gaza Strip. My father and I were both born in the […]
(Mohammed Omer (right) receiving the 2007 Martha Gellhorn Journalism Prize along with journalist Dahr Jamail (left). They are joined in the photo by journalist John Pilger, a member of the Prize’s judges panel. Photo: Paul de Rooij.) A year ago…