5 months ago
NPR broke the news of a Florida student detained in Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport last Tuesday. Lara Alqasem, 22, was supposed to begin her education in human rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. According to the news outlet, Alqasem’s father is of Palestinian origin was accused of “boycott of Israel” started by Palestinian leaders. The Typical Student team learned the details.
How Did US Student End Up In Israeli Detention?
Lara’s mother, Karen Alqasem, told that at the airport gate the student was asked of where her name came from and who her father was. After Lara showed the security agents her student visa, they made a call and detained her. The 2017 law bars visitors supporting or boycotting the country or its settlements in the West Bank. Lara Alqasem was reportedly denied entry to Israel under this law.
Alqasem was denied entry to Israel because of a 2017 law barring visitors who support or call for a boycott against the country or its settlements in the West Bank. The measure passed after the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a Palestinian-led campaign to exert pressure on Israel, gained traction internationally.
How Does Israel Comment On The Situation?
Gilad Erdan, Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs, commented on the situation According to him, the student was "president of a chapter of one of the most extreme and hate-filled BDS groups" in the US, which has chapters that "repeatedly engaged in anti-Semitic and violent activity with the goal of bullying and silencing students simply for their support of Israel."
It has been revealed that Lara Alqasem reportedly "changed her story several times" since arriving in Israel and deleted all her social media profiles before going to Israel. Mr. Erdan says Lara is free to return to the US.
Meanwhile, Alqasem appealed to the Tel Aviv Court of Appeals as she no longer identifies with the boycott movement. On Tuesday, Erdan said her entry can be reconsidered if Lara denounces the boycott movement. Lara is now in detention waiting for the court’s decision. We’ll follow the story as it unfolds.
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