Palestinian citizens have many rights in Israel, but they are not equal citizens. Only by removing all discriminatory elements from the legal system will Israel cease to be a democracy of racial profiling. Following one of his visits to Israel, Jewish-American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg praised last year the ease with which he underwent the security procedures at Ben-Gurion International Airport, compared with the long waits he experienced in U.S terminals. Racial profiling made all the difference: while Israeli Jews and many white Westerners – especially those with Jewish names - are rushed through the lines in Israeli terminals and gates, every person…Read More... | 16 Comments
ben gurion airport
We wrote in January [Hebrew] about Supreme Court Justice Yoram Denzinger permitting the deportation of an Israeli boy and his Polish mother. Yesterday at 5 a.m., the mother and her son were arrested ahead of their deportation. This time again, Justice Denzinger refused to get involved. The boy was born in Israel in 2005 to a Polish women and an Israeli man. The boy has no connection to his father, received Israeli citizenship, and grew up in Israel from birth. In August 2010, the mother submitted a request for status on the basis of a government decision stating that children…Read More... | 12 Comments
'As soon as I got my passport stamped, the Airport Authority employee demanded I sign a commitment not to enter the occupied Palestinian territories. The document stated that should I breach this 'order,' I could be deported and not allowed back into Israel for another 10 years. I refused to sign it...the document was torn in front of my face, and my entrance to Israel was denied.' By Dáša Raimanová My name is Dáša Raimanová. I am a filmmaker. At the end of August, I was meant to join a grassroots organization operating in the Palestinian territories to create a documentary…Read More... | 14 Comments
The Israeli Airports Authority has withdrawn a directive ordering cab companies servicing Ben Gurion Airport employees to refrain from hiring Arab taxi drivers. Dimi Reider reported on Sunday that the airport’s transportation manager sent a letter prohibiting a cab company contracted by the Airport Authority from employing of “minorities” – a term used in Hebrew to refer to Arab citizens. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel last week sent a complaint (Hebrew) to the Airport Authority, calling the directive a violation of constitutional principles of equality and freedom of occupation, particularly grave coming from a public institution. The Airports…Read More... | 3 Comments
In the air between Geneva and Tel Aviv, I spent some time talking to the international activists who joined the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign. Activists who told this writer in the Geneva airport that they are traveling to Palestine cheered quietly and smiled as the plane took off. However, a number of those activists declined to be interviewed. Several who had said, in the airport, that they were part of the action became skittish and recanted, claiming that they were visiting Tel Aviv or that they didn’t speak English at all. Two men, aged 25 and 49, said that they…Read More... | 23 Comments
Jeffery Goldberg, one of the most well know Jewish American journalists, had an entry in his blog raving about Israeli security procedures at Ben Gurion airport. Ben Gurion (TLV) has no naked-scanning machines and you don't have to take off your shoes. Instead, security personnel use racial profiling, thoroughly checking Arabs in back rooms while exempting Jewish Israelis and tourists with a few standard security questions. "I find answering a series of questions about my travel less invasive than posing like a mugging victim in a machine that takes pictures of you naked," Goldberg concludes. A perfect example of self-inflicted blindness: As…Read More... | 20 Comments
Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg just flew out of Israel and decided to write a post revering security at Israel's Ben-Gurion airport, comparing it to the much less effective and what he considers more humiliating American airport security. (I do agree with him that Israeli security is way more effective than American security, since Israel is indeed better at racial profiling). He appreciates that he doesn't have to worry about packing his nail clippers and understands that non-Jews face problems at the airport - he notes that he knows of some Arab-Israelis and Arab-Americans who have been stuck in the screening proces…Read More... | 25 Comments
The following op ed in Haaretz [Hebrew only] revisits the theme of how unpleasant it can be for an Arab citizen, native-born in Israel, to use his or her national airport to travel freely. Many people have heard this theme before; my colleague Aziz Abu Sarah has written about it thoughtfully, and I reported on a potentially positive Supreme Court ruling a year ago. At the time, I quoted my friend Adeeb Awad and a few others about their experiences. In his op ed this week, Adeeb expands his thoughts about an experience not often discussed: That of an Arab…Read More... | 14 Comments
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 - and are now able to racially profile themselves, using a specially provided form to warn the airport authorities of their arrival. In the see-saw of travel-craving and homesickness preceding any trip abroad, there's one moment when you can feel the balance finally shifting and you becoming glad to be leaving Israel: When you arrive in your car or taxi to the airport gates and a burly, submachine…Read More... | 42 Comments
Journalist Larry Derfner came to Tel Aviv airport to cover the arrival of international activists. Once in the reception hall, a small Israeli mob turned on him. In a matter of seconds, he found himself in a police van by Larry Derfner Anybody who believes the platitude that the people want peace, it’s just the leaders who want war, should have been at Ben-Gurion Airport today. It’s a good thing those Free Palestine activists got arrested; otherwise, the little mob that formed spontaneously would have punched them up pretty good. Only minutes after I got to the Arrivals hall, a…Read More... | 69 Comments
The Israeli authorities are determined not to let any visitor who would declare his desire to come to the West Bank enter the country this Friday. In a statement made yesterday, PM Netanyahu's office called the planned attempt by hundreds of activists to conduct a solidarity visit in the Palestinian Territories "an effort to undermine Israel's right to exist". "Everyone here is in hysterics," sources in Jerusalem told media This post was updated. As we have reported here on Sunday, A coalition of organizations has made public its intention to have hundreds of international activists land at Ben-Gurion airport this…Read More... | 17 Comments
My friend H is arriving from Sweden for a conference in Jerusalem. Though Palestinian by roots and Arab by name, H is a Swedish national and a proud subject to the three crowns. The conference deals with world history and its effects on the region. It features a three day seminar at the Yad Vashem Holocaust history institute. H chose to arrive a few days earlier and enjoy our mild winter. I've known her for years through Swedish friends and offered to put her up. Last night, before going to sleep, Itka and I made a bed for her on…Read More... | 5 Comments
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Last Metro to Taksim
Yuval Ben-Ami reports from Istanbul.
Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
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