Two leading U.S. human rights lawyers were denied entry into Israel Sunday, detained at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, and deported back to the United States.
The two are Columbia University’s Katherine Franke, who is the Chair of the Board of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Center’s Executive Director Vincent Warren. The two reported that they were repeatedly questioned about their associations with groups supporting boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. They were part of a delegation of American civil rights activists heading to Israel and the Occupied Territories to learn about human rights situation there and to meet with local activists.
Franke and Warren were apparently denied entry as a part of the Israeli government’s new policy of barring entry of individuals associated with organizations that allegedly “delegitimize” Israel.
For a Center for Constitutional Rights press release on the incident click here.
For a Democracy Now interview with the two, click here.
Americans for Peace Now strongly opposes Israel’s Entry Law, which authorizes the government to deny entry to people critical of Israeli government policies or advocating measures to protest Israeli government policies. APN has expressed strong opposition to the subsequent blacklist published by the Israeli government, which lists organizations – including American organizations – that would deem their members or executives as potentially subject to having their entry into Israel denied.
As we have indicated before when similar incidents occurred, we are deeply concerned at the current trajectory of Israeli government policies. Nearly every day, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government takes a decision or advances a bill that is a stain on Israeli democracy. Connecting these dots creates a very dark picture.