Airlines help Israel bar activists

2011-07-08 14:56

Ben-Gurion Airport - About 200 pro-Palestinian activists have been barred from leaving foreign airports for Israel, where authorities are poised to deport others who manage to fly in, Israeli police said on Friday.

After Greece grounded a flotilla that hoped to sail against Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip this month, protesters mobilised to flock to Ben-Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, in a challenge to Israeli curbs on accessing the occupied West Bank.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced them as provocateurs. His government ordered a crackdown, citing concern for public order at Israel's main gateway to the world, or that the foreign sympathisers would reinforce Palestinian rallies.

Discovering that they would not be allowed to board their Israel-bound aircraft from France, Germany and Switzerland, scores of activists decried what they called an abuse of power.

"I am absolutely shocked that it is even possible that I am being blacklisted without any evidence that I have done anything at all," one of them, Cynthia Beat, said in Berlin.

"Apparently, it is sufficient to state that you would like to go to Palestine, to spend time with Palestinians, in order to be banned from Israel."

342 on list

Palestinians have no airport of their own, making travel through Ben-Gurion, just 10km from the West Bank, the most direct route for their visitors from abroad.

According to Israel's biggest newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the government issued European airlines with a list of 342 suspected activists who would be turned back at Ben-Gurion, with the carriers expected to bear the cost of returning them.

"What we can confirm is that there have been approximately 200 people that have not gotten on the airplanes overseas," police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said.

"That's due to the fact ... that the international companies that are flying out realised that those individuals would have to fly back and won't be allowed inside Israel and therefore financially it was not worth them taking the risk."

Two American women who flew in overnight were detained on grounds of "security problems" and deported, Rosenfeld said.

Police also arrested six Israelis who demonstrated against the clampdown at Ben-Gurion. One of them screamed "Free Palestine" in Arabic as she was dragged out of the terminal.

Risking detention

Palestinian organiser Mazen Qumsieh said some would-be visitors would give themselves away by naming "Palestine" as their destination rather than telling Israeli immigration officers they were pilgrims, as many travellers do.

"We did not request that they do that," Qumsieh said. He added he was satisfied with the publicity over the crackdown.

Mick Napier, a member of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said he intended to risk being detained at Ben-Gurion.

"I think your prime minister, Netanyahu, is kind of really over the top in suggesting that peaceful visitors flying in to the airport and then taking the bus to (the West Bank city of) Bethlehem was in some way a threat to the security of the state," he told Israel's Army Radio by telephone.

"You can win the battle and lose the war here."

Apparently unaffected by the beefed-up police deployment in Ben-Gurion, Israeli counter-demonstrator Michelle Marshalian held a sign urging protesters to go instead to Syria, Libya and other Arab states roiled by revolts against autocratic regimes.

"I think it is very hypocritical that so many people are activists against Israel," Marshalian said.

  • Krush - 2011-07-08 15:06


      JusticeMan - 2011-07-09 23:29 (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network)

  • battle4truth - 2011-07-08 15:32

    I guess if there's no such destination one can't fly there! Why not fly to Egypt, it's closer to Gaza : )

      Patrick - 2011-07-08 15:49

      Whew, thanks for putting my mind at rest with that meaty comment. When I heard the rumbling and felt the cold wind, after first reading it, I thought Mothra was trying to hump the Angel of the North again. You should be writing books n stuff.

  • Bones - 2011-07-08 15:54

    The Israeli poepols are at it again. Do they not realize that the more they do wrong, the less people are going to support them. Ah well, if you dont want to listen, you will pay the price...

      Patrick - 2011-07-09 04:55

      If Israel had just let the ships and flyers through, nothing would materially have changed, because the ships were inspected and no weapons were aboard. But in allowing their ego and vanity to dictate policy, Israel has made this latest flotilla headline stories around the world, and while thankfully there are no dead bodies this time around, Israel has still come off looking like a swaggering bully starving the children of Gaza for no other reason than to prove they can still do it. This is another PR disaster for Israel, of their own making.

      mecan - 2011-07-09 10:10

      they already paid much prices. they dont trust you nor most of this world. Israel will be just fine. they have been through harsh and harsher times. the Jewish people never had it so good in 5000 years... If only the Pal would go down the road of peace rather than war - this world would be a better place - but i guess one can not change a violent religion that calls itself peaceful

      Zionist - 2011-07-09 11:42

      Patrick I think Israel looks better than ever in fact. The ships didn’t sail as Greece and other European nations didn’t let the hate boat sail - furthermore, even Turkey themselves didn’t want to be embarrassed again and stayed away. Headlines were huge around the world - but all the headlines made the terrorist activists look brainless. The de-legitimisation of Israel didn’t work because nothing has changed. The west steel view Israel as on the front line with a right of self-defence – while the Arab world hates Israel’ existence. Israel’s economy is stronger than ever before – BDS has failed, flotillas failed, airflotilla failed, terror failed. Its time the Palestinians understand that ONLY the peaceful route will lead them to a state – and threatening Israel will only lead them to suffer more! Peace Now - Salam

  • mish82 - 2011-07-08 16:08

    "O you, the Jews! If you claim that you are the favorites of God to the exclusion of other people, then wish for death if what you say is true. [6] But, because of what their hands have sent before them for the hereafter, they will never wish for death. God knows these wrongdoers very well.[7] Tell them: "The death from which you are running away, will surely overtake you: then you will be sent back to Him Who knows the unseen and the seen; and He will tell you all that you have been doing."[8] 62:[5-8]-Quran

  • Patrick - 2011-07-08 16:20

    Even local Jews from Tel Aviv have had enough of the ziopoison.

      Jaimo - 2011-07-08 16:38

      Patrick:It must be petty grim to be anti-christ in spirit (and not even know it) Now that's called deception, oh heart of bitterness! Viva ISRAEL

      Patrick - 2011-07-08 21:04

      Shatzi, There is very little, VERY LITTLE chance that any jewboy has the mental capacity to overcharge me for anything in this life. I NEVER do any kind of business with jews of any sort... ever!

      mecan - 2011-07-09 10:21

      Patrick The computer you use? The Chip in that computer? You cell phone (chip & design)? the Chip in your DSTV? Your hateful Facebook account? Youtube that you use? The large % of drugs that will prob save your life if you go into hospital? The Vegi's (farming) you buy at Pick n' Pay and all other retailers in SA? Pick n Pay? Your medical aid? is it discovery? swipe your card on those small credit card machines? any local produced metal product in your house? heard of Macsteel? Most products on shelves - heard of Bidvest? Go google (a Jewish Company) what you use in this world that a few million Jews made and are profiting off you... than if you get upset - shoot yourself with an Israeli made Uzi.

      JusticeMan - 2011-07-09 23:31 (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network)

  • BrassCopper - 2011-07-09 12:01

    I got this E-Mail on friday - thought i should share: The Muslims aren't happy! They're not happy in Gaza. They're not happy in Egypt. They're not happy in Libya. They're not happy in Morocco. They're not happy in Iran. They're not happy in Iraq. They're not happy in Yemen. They're not happy in Afghanistan. They're not happy in Pakistan. They're not happy in Syria. They're not happy in Lebanon. And where are they happy? They're happy in England. They're happy in France. They're happy in Italy. They're happy in Germany. They're happy in Sweden. They're happy in the USA. They're happy in India.They're happy in Norway. They're happy in every country that is not Muslim. And who do they blame? Not their leadership. Not themselves. THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN!

      Paco7 - 2011-07-18 11:02

      more zionist propaganda

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