Israel detains American student for 1 week over suspicions she supports boycott – National

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Israel defended on Wednesday its dealing with of the case of an American graduate scholar held in detention on the nation’s worldwide airport for the previous week over allegations that she helps a boycott towards the Jewish state.


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Lara Alqasem, a 22-year-old American citizen with Palestinian grandparents, landed at Ben-Gurion Airport final week with a sound scholar visa and was registered to check human rights at Israel’s Hebrew College in Jerusalem. However she was barred from coming into the nation and ordered deported, based mostly on suspicions that she helps the Palestinian-led boycott motion.

An Israeli court docket has ordered that she stay in custody whereas she appeals, though Israel says she will be able to depart the nation. The weeklong detention is the longest anybody has been held in a boycott-related case. Her case is about to be heard at a Tel Aviv court docket Thursday.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan mentioned in an interview with The Related Press on Wednesday that Israel had the best to guard itself and resolve who enters its borders regardless of rising worldwide criticism.

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“We’re doing no matter we consider that’s proper for the safety of the state of Israel and that’s extra vital than regardless of the New York Occasions or different newspapers around the globe will say about our coverage,” Erdan mentioned.

His remarks come after the Occasions revealed an opinion piece by columnist Bret Stephens and editor Bari Weiss crucial of Israel’s dealing with of Alqasem’s case. Greater than 300 lecturers penned a letter within the British Guardian Wednesday calling the case “an assault on educational freedom.”

Whereas ready for her attraction to be heard, Alqasem has been spending her days in a closed space with little entry to a phone, no web and a mattress that was infested with bedbugs, based on individuals who have spoken to her.


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Alqasem, from the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Southwest Ranches, Florida, is a former president of the College of Florida chapter of College students for Justice in Palestine. The group is a department of the BDS motion, whose identify comes from its requires boycotts, divestment and sanctions towards Israel.

BDS supporters say that in urging companies, artists and universities to sever ties with Israel, they’re utilizing nonviolent means to withstand unjust insurance policies towards Palestinians. Israel says the motion masks its motives to delegitimize or destroy the Jewish state.

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