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Israeli response to fly-in proves West Bank is the Palestinians' prison

Advocates for Israel often claim that the Palestinians run their own life. Yet again and again it appears that the West Bank has become their prison.

Israeli activist Michal Vexler arrested at Ben Gurion airport while demonstrating in favor of the 'Welcome to Palestine' fly-in on April 15, 2012 (photo: Activestills.org)

Last week I posted here a criticism of Ambassador Michal Oren’s Foreign Policy piece, titled “Israel’s Resilient Democracy.” One of Ambassador Oren’s claims was that the fact that Palestinians in the West Bank are deprived of voting rights is not enough to question the nature of Israel as a democracy.

The existence of partially democratic enclaves within a democratic system does not necessarily discredit it. Residents of Washington, D.C., are taxed without representation, while those in the U.S. territories — Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands — cannot vote in presidential elections. Anomalies exist in every democracy, and Israel’s is not voided by the situation in the West Bank.

But voting is only part of the story; voting is a means, not an end in itself. Palestinians differ from American citizens in the U.S. territories in many ways: For example, they are tried in military courts, before of uniformed judges, and without the legal rights that defendants enjoy in Israel’s civilian courts. They are deprived of access to resources, of physical protection against violence and harassments, and much more.

Freedom – or lack – of travel is another major issue. Since the mid-90s, Palestinians have been unable to travel beyond the Green Line and into “Israel proper.” Nor can they travel abroad, unless they get a special permit from the military authorities. At times, they are even prevented from traveling between towns and villages in the West Bank.

People are also prevented from traveling into the West Bank: Israelis are prohibited by a military order from entering area A, and tourists, business travelers and diplomats must go through Israel’s international airport or through land crossings – all controlled by Israel – before entering the West Bank. Stating that your destination is a Palestinian town or village might lead to a refusal of a tourist visa by the Israeli authorities, so many visitors simply lie. This is the way most activists enter the West Bank today. The irony is that for some people it’s easier to enter to Gaza – which is officially still under blockade – than to reach “free” Ramallah, because Gaza has one land border that Israel doesn’t control.

The West Bank has become the Palestinian prison, and the PA is not much more than its guard. It’s very far from the reality that Ambassador Oren and other advocates of Israeli policy portray. Yet strangely enough, misconceptions regarding the real state of affairs are widespread, even in Israel. Yesterday, as the local media was reporting on the effort of international activists to travel to the West Bank without lying about their destination – the so-called “flytilla” – I came across several comments on Israeli news sites wondering why “those provocateurs” don’t travel from Jordan through the “Palestinian-controlled” Allenby crossing. I heard the same remarks last year; there was even a comment on this site justifying Israel’s refusal to have the internationals enter by commenting that a tourist to Palestine shouldn’t try to pass through Israel.

But there is no independent Palestine. The “Palestinian Authority” has no authority over any significant matter. Control over borders is considered among the important measures of sovereignty. The Palestinians are not sovereign, nor do they have any citizenship rights in Israel. They are neither here nor there, but prisoners of a system that views them as enemies and doesn’t offer them any future or hope.

By refusing to allow members of the flytilla entry into the West Bank, Israel actually proved right their original claim: that the level of control Israel exercises over the Palestinian population in the occupied territories for nearly half a century makes the occupation is a unique phenomenon, well deserving of the world’s attention.

Related news:
Activists reach Israel in new ‘flytilla’ bid; dozens refused entry
Who are the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ activists?
The first draft of the Flytilla letter

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    COMMENTS

    1. Piotr Berman

      Chomsky was denied entry at Allenby crossing when he informed about being invited to give a lecture at a Palestinian university. Are there more examples of such practices at Allenby?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Henry Weinstein

      Israeli response is counter-propaganda against propaganda. The same old scene.
      I disagree with your intellectual analysis, Noam. It’s politics on media battlefiel this kind of activism, not an intellectual debate on traveling into the West Bank.
      And the Israeli government was more than grateful to get the opportunity to make another mountain with the activist mouse, and to smash the Leftists supporting this show.
      I said it before and I say it again: what’s the point to arrive in Ben Gurion airport with the will to exhibit posters & signs saying “Welcome in Palestine”? Anti-occupation protest in Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv Israel, with a message saying “Welcome in Palestine”??
      OMG, if they wanted to protest against occupation of the West Bank & ask for entry via Israel, they would have written messages saying this. But they wanted to get arrested in Ben Gurion airport, with their sign “Welcome to Palestine”.
      It will only bring more votes to the Israeli far right; not their problem: most of them are neither Israeli nor Palestinian, they don’t care about the consequences.
      So you are free to consider they win an intellectual victory, Noam, but for sure the political winner is once again the Israeli Security Order. The same old scene, on a battlefield designed by the Israeli far right. Bingo again, so easy.

      Reply to Comment
    3. the other joe

      @Henry – the point is that the activists got arrested before they’d even done anything significant. The images which beam around the world are of an Israel that is afraid of people with signs written on cardboard.

      Reply to Comment
    4. @Henry: One clarification – the activists flying in didn’t try to protest at TLV airport. What you see in the picture is an Israeli protesting their arrest.

      Reply to Comment
    5. TLA

      I said it before and I’ll say it again – these people were denied entry to ISRAEL. They didn’t fly to Palestine, it doesn’t exist. They flew to Israel. Israelis didn’t want them and kicked them out – they had every right to do so.

      If they want to go to Palestinian cities – try the King Hussein crossing.

      And a word of advice – anyone trying to demonstrate at a border checkpoint will get kicked out. Not only in Israel – in every SANE country. Try demonstrating at the Tijuana border crossing, we’ll see how long it takes for the US border patrol to take care of you. Why do you expect anything else from Israel?

      Reply to Comment
    6. aristeides

      TLA – saying it again only makes you twice as ridiculous. Do you suppose that the Allenby bridge isn’t controlled by Israel? Do you suppose that people aren’t turned back there?

      .
      I expect that you’d rather the activists take this route because Israeli brutality will have less exposure to the media in that location.

      .
      If Israel didn’t want demonstrations at its checkpoints and airports, the solution is simple: let the activists peacefully through to their destinations.

      Reply to Comment
    7. max

      aristeides,
      Hundred of thousands of people enter Israel every year with Visas showing them going to PA territory.
      You can do it yourself: register on any of the Palestinian web-based travel offices
      Those, however, declaring in advance – or on place – their intention to make it into a political stunt, are bound to get a different treatment.
      And yet, yes: Israel controls most of the ins & outs of the PA territory

      Reply to Comment
    8. Rodrigo

      Noam, the only thing that you demonstrated is that the PA has no control over its borders as it is not yet a full state. Going temporarily along with Oren’s parallel, US Homeland Security is also responsible for the borders of Guam, Puerto Rico and not the legal bodies of these territories. I don’t think anyone is arguing that the PA is a state. The truth is that the Palestinians will continue to be neither here nor there until the PA turns into a real state following a negotiated peace agreement with Israel. In the meantime, the actions of the Palestinians and their friends to change this situation through unilateral steps will be stifled and foiled.
      .

      There is a conceptual problem with the flytilla. The activists are trying to enter Israel and Israel is justified in restricting and denying access even for purposes of transit to Palestine. Such a situation can continue to exist even after a Palestinian state is established or recognized or whatever, especially if it is a hostile state.
      .

      Trying to gain access via the Allenby bridge would have made a lot more sense given the stated motives since the activists would in practice be trying to get into Palestine directly. They would probably be stopped either way, but that doesn’t change the fact that this action only makes sense within the context of the organizers of the protest believing that Ben Gurion Airport is in Palestine.

      Reply to Comment
    9. TLA

      @aristeides

      When you come to ISRAEL to demonstrate against ISRAEL – ISRAEL has a full right to deny your entry.

      Since that is what the “activists” did, the discussion about the King Hussein is pointless. They never went there, so any speculation about what Israel WOULD HAVE DONE had they gone there – is pointless.

      Reply to Comment
    10. the other joe

      @TLA, the thing is that the protesters were not actually protesting against Israel, they were attempting to travel to the Palestinian Authority controlled areas. It is true that their actions put the border authorities into a cleft stick – but that was what why the protest was clever. By preventing them from going to a peaceful civil conference, the border authorities show how they’re limiting movement, freedom of speech etc.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Henry Weinstein

      @ Noam Sheizaf
      Sure clarification is much needed in such paranormal events: so it’s called the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign, with – I dare to suppose – “Welcome to Palestine” signs, but -clarification! – the activists just wanted to land discreetly in Tel Aviv airport, and travel in Israel without demonstrating until they arrive in front of checkpoints to protest against checkpoints with “Welcome to Palestine” signs??
      But Noam, if they really wanted to do this, they would have kept their campaign secret without any PR warning, no??.
      .
      About the “Welcome to Palestine” ad campaign:
      Either the slogan “Welcome in Palestine” has been designed by advertisement copywriters, either by anti-Israel propagandists, maybe both of them: my point is that nobody in this story has any political judgement. It was another intellectual game play with their usual Israeli partner, who won as usual, – after all this de-legitimizing game & its rules has been invented and designed by Hasbarah, a long time ago.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Graham Lawson

      Doesn’t Michal Vexler look beautiful?!

      Reply to Comment
    13. Larry Rosenwald

      I was struck by this comment: “When you come to ISRAEL to demonstrate against ISRAEL – ISRAEL has a full right to deny your entry.” I’m sure that’s true. But I’m not sure that it’s best to consider these questions in a framework of rights. In my view at any rate, Israel’s interests would be better served, would have been better served rather, by welcoming the activists in, by saying, “see, this is what we told you, Israel is a pluralist democracy, demonstrate all you want.”

      Reply to Comment
    14. max

      Larry, I agree with you about the better attitude, but there’s a catch somewhere…
      When entering and leaving Israel, one is (that is, foreigner) interrogated about where, with whom… and I somehow doubt that this effort is conducted only to ensure you don’t come back…
      So I guess the intention is to not open up the gates for people that would generate more effort, though I have no idea what’s the risk they’re trying to mitigate.
      But, yes, they could have done it just for once, to break the pattern 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    15. TLA

      @TheOtherJoe : “By preventing them from going to a peaceful civil conference, the border authorities show how they’re limiting movement, freedom of speech etc.” – news flash: they didn’t have these freedoms to begin with. It may be news to you, but foreign citizens have no inherent right of admission to Israel, have no inherent freedoms, and that is so also for any other country. People often confuse the rights and freedoms of citizens and those of foreign nationals granted entry. They’re not the same! Anywhere in the world, by the way, not just in Israel.
      .
      Now back to the protesters – their intention was not to get to a “civil conference”, their intention was to embarrass Israel. They’ve achieved their goals, undoubtedly, but there’s nothing Israel could have done to prevent it. Had it let them in, they would do something else to get arrested. That’s was their goal – to get arrested, to get deported, to get a picture with handcuffs. They got what they wanted, everything else is just monetizing the publicity stunt. If you truly believe that they actually wanted to get to Bethlehem – then you’re naive. That was not what they wanted.
      .
      @Larry: ““see, this is what we told you, Israel is a pluralist democracy, demonstrate all you want.”” – why? Israelis can demonstrate all they want, and they do. Israel has no obligations to foreign citizens. It has nothing to prove. Any such expectation is in fact diminishing Israeli sovereignty, and that is exactly the reason why they don’t want to allow that.

      Reply to Comment
    16. aristeides

      TAL – the third repetition of a ridiculous statement is not charmed.

      .
      Rodrigo – I’ve got a great idea! Palestine can build its own airport, somewhere near, say, Ramallah. Then people wanting to travel to the WB won’t have to go through BG. They won’t have to enter Israel at all. No more demonstrations, no more provocations! I’m sure Israel would be overjoyed by such a development. Nu?

      Reply to Comment
    17. TLA

      @aristeides its a bit of an issue with all the mountains around there, but probably can be done somewhere around Jericho. I’m sure the Israelis and the Jordanians won’t oppose.
      .
      In fact, Palestinians did actually have a functional airport in Gaza (GZA), that was only closed after they’ve started a war against Israel in 2001. So if you’re trying to claim that Israel won’t allow it – facts prove otherwise. As long as it is not used to weaponize Palestinians (as the Gazan airport was), Israel will allow it as it already had.

      Reply to Comment
    18. aristeides

      TLA – you are delusional.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Piotr Berman

      I just checked the website of Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs about visas, and there is no word about visas being limited to travel within “Israel proper”. Actually, there is no HINT that there is a possibility of entering a territory subject of restrictions, and of course no hint that there is something like West Bank or Palestinian territory etc.

      There is something that it is OK to travel from Israel to Egypt and Jordan.

      Summary: MoFA website gives no hint why using a tourist visa (or visa-free entry) for visiting Bethlehem or Ramallah is not OK. Or that visa can be used according to different rules if one enters from Jordan or if one flies in.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Israeli State policy is essentially afraid of independent human social action in the West Bank. The only reason to restrain those flying in that I can see is to prevent a feared escalation of internal, independent action later. We survive life by creating and renewing relationships with others–others who have abilities, resources (including stories of life) that we do not; in return, we offer what we might have in that field. When you are alone, you are in a prison–and consequent of this State policy those residing in the West Bank are reminded how alone they can become.
      .
      The genesis of this fear must in part lie in the 2nd Intifada, in all of its forms. But the fear has become self sufficient now; external validation, while satisfying, is not necessary. How to you tell someone(s) they are afraid–and that is why they are, in so many ways, hitting you?
      .
      Ambassodor Oren surely knows (well, maybe knows) that under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution those born on Guam are citizens of the US, so have access to the federal courts. Nice-nice speak is getting kind of thin.

      Reply to Comment
    21. max

      @Piotr – and your point is???
      There are, indeed, hundred of thousands of people getting every year from Israeli ports to PA territory using visas – or hotel vouchers – that show that they go there.
      What’s not permitted is provocation: what’s wrong with that?

      Reply to Comment
    22. tla

      @aristeides am I? Did I say something that is factually incorrect? If so – please explain, otherwise you are only showing the true colors of this “peaceful activists”: you only listen to yourself.

      Reply to Comment
    23. RichardL

      TLA: You seem to have convinced yourself without any evidence of the bad intentions of the activists. They have declared themselves intent on going to the West Bank to meet with Palestinians and help with social projects such as building a school and planting olive trees. You call this provocation. I call your description paranoia. There is no evidence I have seen(and you make no attempt to provide any) that they were intent on getting arrested come what may. On this lack of evidence they have been arrested. Some have been deported, while others are still held in jail unable to communicate with friends and family. This is not compatible with upholding human rights and it is not a reflection of a healthy democracy. In fact what it demonstrates about the lack of freedoms in Israel is something that should be of concern to all Israelis.
       
      Noam wrote “Gaza has one land border that Israel doesn’t control”.
       
      Not true unfortunately. See Gisha’s report Rafah Crossing: Who Controls the Keys. Little has changed since its publication.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Israel’s policy since its creation can be summarized in one sentence: “want territory but not the people living on it”. From this guideline you easily end up in ethnic cleansing, Apartheid, Bantustans, oppression and endless violation of human rights. The Jewish Lebensraum project has produced a long list of evils and there is no end in sight until Zionism is deconstructed.

      Reply to Comment
    25. the other joe

      @TLA – either Israel controls the West Bank and Gaza, in which case it is defacto responsible for all the inhabitants, including full healthcare, social care, etc (making the PA redundant) or it is not and is interested in building a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. If it is the former, then yes they have the right to limit who enters the country but they also take on the full responsibilities of control. If not, then they must either open a free border to Palestine or allow free movement of peaceful visitors to the territories. It isn’t possible to have it both ways.

      Reply to Comment
    26. What always amazes me is the level of ignorance and denial most Israelis live in – and that’s in the age of free information and the internet! This ignorance of course is willful ignorance that is also encouraged and fostered by Israel’s establishment. The Zionist indoctrination makes sure that the average Israeli is completely clueless about the origins of the conflict, about the Palestinians and about the current situation.

      Reply to Comment
    27. aristeides

      TLA – did you say anything that was factually correct?

      .
      Max – “provocation” is not permitted? Oh, really? Whose provocation? Provocation against whom?

      .
      Provocation, that is, acts not otherwise illegal, is certainly permitted in any civilized state. It’s called free speech.

      Reply to Comment
    28. max

      @aristeides, where did you get the notion that a would-be visitor to a country has the rights for free speech?
      And where did you get the notion that free speech, when in effect, is boundless?
      .
      And – of course… – you dodge the main point, which is that hundred of thousands of visitors enter Israel each year with the PA territory as their explicit destination

      Reply to Comment
    29. Jack

      Max,
      You mean Israel have laws that deny basic rights for visitors?

      Reply to Comment
    30. max

      Jack, why do you pretend to be challenged by comprehension abilities?

      Reply to Comment
    31. Jack

      Max,
      You said:
      “where did you get the notion that a would-be visitor to a country has the rights for free speech?


      Which imply that visitors have not the free-speech right in Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    32. aristeides

      Max – that may be your point, it’s not my point.

      .
      My point referred to civilized states. It’s clear that we must exclude Israel, if Israel excludes the right of free speech.

      Reply to Comment
    33. TLA

      @Jack and @aristeides: “Which imply that visitors have not the free-speech right in Israel.” – not only in Israel, everywhere. You’re a guest, least the host can expect is not to spit at him. Why is it surprising you? Take the US as an example: constitutional rights don’t apply to non-citizens (even the permanent residents, not to mention visitors). Is it not a civilized country? Well, some would say so.
      .
      As I said in another thread, before you criticize others – look at yourselves.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Jack

      TLA,
      So Israel have in fact a law to deny visitors this right? Could you give us a source?

      Reply to Comment
    35. TLA

      @Jack – no, Israel has no laws granting this right. As I said – Israel is definitely not alone, the US, where I live, has a Constitution which defines plenty of rights, but only for its CITIZENS. The guests can even be deported without the judicial due process, just as those “flytilla” protesters were in Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Jack

      TLA,
      Ok so if Israel doesnt have any laws for this the action, to deny freedom of speech for visitors by Israel, is arbitary?

      Reply to Comment
    37. TLA

      @Jack – I’m not sure what are you referring to as “free speech”. If you refer to demonstrating at the airport with the Palestinian flags – its not arbitrary. Its a preemptive attempt not to allow unauthorized demonstration. In Israel you have to get Police authorization for demonstrations, and pay for the additional Police workforce. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the “flytillia” organizers didn’t bother doing so. So no, it is not arbitrary.

      Reply to Comment
    38. Jack

      TLA,
      “If you refer to demonstrating at the airport with the Palestinian flags – its not arbitrary.”
      Well then it must be according to law otherwhise its arbitrary, and you just said there was no law.

      Reply to Comment
    39. TLA

      Jack: “Well then it must be according to law otherwhise its arbitrary, and you just said there was no law.” – I just told you which law. But, the fact that there’s no law to allow things – means that the thing is not allowed. Remember, you’re not a citizen, you’re a guest. You have NO rights, unless otherwise stated.

      Reply to Comment
    40. Jack

      TLA,

      “– I just told you which law”

      Really so which law do you refer to?

      Reply to Comment
    41. TLA

      @Jack – read one message back.
      .
      I’ll say it again, in case you’ve missed it: as a guest, YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS UNLESS EXPLICITLY GIVEN ANY.
      .
      This whole discussion about the “free speech” is pointless. Foreigners DON’T have free speech. Not in Israel, not anywhere else. Check your own country laws. I’ve checked mine, as I’ve already explained.

      Reply to Comment
    42. Jack

      TLA,
      Thats not a law, you are just making stuff up as I expected, another discussion we have to kill.

      Reply to Comment
    43. TLA

      @Jack – well, you can refer to the US Immigration Act, if you don’t believe me. I’m sorry, but saying “its not true” doesn’t make you miraculously right. The fact that you do that shows exactly how (not!) credible you are. And to me, as an “occasional” visitor, it shows me the true nature of all you “peace activists”. So far in all the discussions with you I only see single-sidedness, blatant slanders, ignorance, and zero willingness to discuss any other opinion than your own.
      .
      Now I’m pretty positive that when I need to compare news reports from “independent reporting and commentary from Israel” and from the Israeli news outlets, I should probably prefer the Israeli sources.

      Reply to Comment
    44. anna

      “If you refer to demonstrating at the airport with the Palestinian flags – its not arbitrary.”

      The NAME of the event the international passengers were traveling to Palestine for is CALLED “Welcome to Palestine” so this is what the signs said, which is pretty logical, wouldn’t you say?

      The activists who were demonstrating with “welcome to Palestine” signs and who were arrested at the airport for no other reason than this – were ISRAELI citizens.

      Is there a law prohibiting Israeli citizens from holding signs for arriving passengers at the airport? Or is it prohibited to do so only for certain passengers (non Israelis who are traveling to Palestine for various humanitarian project to support Palestinians)?

      Would holding up a sign with individual names of activists instead have been “legal”? Obviously it would have not been practical or possible to have hundreds of signs.. So was the name of the event (Welcome to Palestine) what made it illegal and got the ISRAELI citizens who were greeting the passengers arrested?

      I saw photos of cluesless twits “counter demonstrating” with their own signs (which weren’t meant as a way to identify any passengers upon their arrival, as were those of the Israelis who were arrested) however they were not arrested for doing so despite there being no other practical purpose for their presence at the airport.

      So why is it illegal for some Israelis to wait for passengers, holding up signs to be identified, while perfectly legal to show up with flags, signs and protesters that have no intention of meeting any arriving passengers? Is that not arbitrary in your opinion? Do you even realize how little sense that makes to reasonable people? How ridiculous it makes Israel’s actions, over reaction, arbitrary and discriminatory policies appear? And how absurd anyone still cluelessly trying to defend or justify them sounds?

      Paranoia really does affect one’s judgement, you know. There were no protest going on or planned. Israeli participants were waiting to greet and escort or travel with the arriving passengers on their way to their stated destination, Palestine. They were holding up signs in order for these passengers to be able to identify them.

      Again, unless you consider holding up a sign with any kind of organization name while waiting for members if said organization to arrive also illegal, then I don’t see how that was illegal and grounds for the arrest of ISRAELI citizens.

      I don’t know if links are allowed so I won’t add them here but if you simply Google “welcome to Palestine” you”ll get a Wikipedia link, the actual official website for this action and lots more. Since your results will slightly vary from mine (I’m in Canada), go to rabble dot ca and enter the same text in the search box – the first item from the results will be a piece about the event and those dangerous provocateurs bent on causing trouble.

      Please do yourself a favor and don’t embarrass yourself by continuing to attempt to justify these kinds of actions and policies within an open democracy. If you actuality believe this, perhaps you might want to consider looking up the definition of the word because you obviously don’t understand it.

      Reply to Comment
    45. David44

      @TLA:
      You wrote:
      “Take the US as an example: constitutional rights don’t apply to non-citizens (even the permanent residents, not to mention visitors).”
      Not true: most constitutional rights in the US (voting and standing for election being obvious exceptions) apply to permanent residents exactly as they do to citizens.
      This was confirmed (among many other cases) by the Supreme Court in Kwong Hai Chew v. Colding in 1953. I quote:
      “Once an alien lawfully enters and resides in this country, he becomes invested with the rights guaranteed by the Constitution to all people within our borders. Such rights include those protected by the First and the Fifth Amendments and by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. None of these provisions acknowledges any distinction between citizens and resident aliens. They extend their inalienable privileges to all ‘persons,’ and guard against any encroachment on those rights by federal or state authority.”

      Reply to Comment
    46. max

      David44, it’s not so simple, it’s legal 🙂
      For example, In 1952’s Harisiades v. Shaughnessy, the Supreme Court upheld the right of Congress to expel noncitizens who were former Communists (relevant, isn’t it?)
      See also http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1302&context=facpub
      .
      You may also look at http://www.crimsonpolitics.com/does-constitution-and-bill-rights-apply-non-citizens-or-just-us-citizens that provides a political twist to the questions
      .
      In particular, the case you bring refers to ‘residents’, so while TLA may have exaggerated, the claim still holds true in ‘our’ case

      Reply to Comment
    47. max

      In the current ME context, the strong underline message sent by the participants of the publicity stunt is “as we don’t dare confront Arabs killing Arabs, let’s get some show time in Israel”
      The message sent by the Arab participants is not as cynical, but rather very sad

      Reply to Comment
    48. Jack

      Max,
      Is that your grand argument, you keep repeating it everywhere to move the focus from this question.

      Reply to Comment
    49. TLA

      David, thank you for actually bothering to find the quote. That proves my point.
      .
      Now I know its hard for you guys to admit you’re wrong, but sometimes when you actually type the text – put a minute of thought in it, especially if it contradicts everything you’ve written before.
      .
      Now @David44 has indeed proven me wrong re the permanent alien residents in the US – but, and that’s the major difference: it is only for PERMANENT RESIDENTS. Not visitors. Not tourists. Not people in transit to some other place.
      .
      Thank you David for proving yourself wrong.
      .
      @ANNA, you asked: “Is there a law prohibiting Israeli citizens from holding signs for arriving passengers at the airport?”
      .
      The answer is NO. BUT, in the case you’re referring to it was not what happened. It was not a name of a passenger that someone was expecting to meet, it was a POLITICAL DEMONSTRATION.
      .
      For THAT – yes, THERE IS A LAW THAT FORBIDS IT. Unauthorized demonstrations are illegal.
      .
      As usual, I’ll compare the Israeli law on the matter to the US. In the US unauthorized demonstrations are illegal. We’ve seen that a lot recently with the OWS movement.
      .
      Conclusion: Israel is no different than other countries.
      .
      Bottom line: Trying to demonize Israel is being at fault of lying.
      .
      Conclusion: I don’t believe you guys. You “activists” are lying, continuously, consciously, and refusing to admit your lie or mistake when caught with it. I’ve seen it with @Jack, @Devin, now @David44 and @Anna, and it is definitely a trend.
      .
      Thank you for proving what all my Israeli friends have been saying all the time.
      .
      You are not to be trusted.

      Reply to Comment
    50. David44

      @TLA
      “Now I know its hard for you guys to admit you’re wrong, but sometimes when you actually type the text – put a minute of thought in it, especially if it contradicts everything you’ve written before.”

      “Now @David44 has indeed proven me wrong re the permanent alien residents in the US – but, and that’s the major difference: it is only for PERMANENT RESIDENTS. Not visitors. Not tourists. Not people in transit to some other place.”

      “Thank you David for proving yourself wrong.”

      I think you are mixing me up with someone else.

      I never said it applied to visitors or tourists, either in Israel or in the US. YOU were the person who mentioned resident aliens in the US, and I simply provided the evidence that proved YOU wrong. I have not contradicted myself, since I have said nothing at all on this subject except to correct your factual errors (which you seem to make with depressing regularity).
      I find it even more depressing – but also immensely revealing – that your response to having your factual errors corrected is to accuse me of lying. EVERYTHING I have written in response to you is true: if you think otherwise, show me where.

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