Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
General News

Why liberal Jews in Israel and the US have made Lara Alqasem a cause celebre

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Jonathan Cook       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   7 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 3   Supported 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 10/17/18

Author 51910
Become a Fan
  (20 fans)

Israel Draws Heat over Detained US Student Lara Alqasem
(Image by You Tube)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

An American student of Palestinian descent detained in Israel's airport for nearly a fortnight has become an unexpected cause celebre. Lara Alqasem was refused entry under legislation passed last year against boycott activists, and Israeli courts are now deciding whether allowing her to study human rights at an Israeli university threatens public order.

Usually those held at the border are swiftly deported, but Ms Alqasem appealed against the decision, becoming in the process an improbable "prisoner of conscience" for the boycott cause.

The Israeli government, led by strategic affairs minister Gilad Erdan, claims that the 22-year-old is a leader of the growing international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Activists like Ms Alqasem, he argues, demonise Israel.

Two lower courts have already ruled against the student. Israel's supreme court has postponed her deportation until Wednesday while it reconsiders the evidence. But refusing to go quietly, Ms Alqasem is attracting increasing international attention to her plight.

- Advertisement -

So far Israeli officials have shown only that Ms Alqasem once belonged to a small Palestinian solidarity group at a Florida university that backed boycotting a hummus company over its donations to the Israeli army.

Under pressure, Ms Alqasem has disavowed a boycott of Israel, citing as proof her decision to enrol in a masters programme in Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Given the blanket hostility in Israel to the boycott movement, Ms Alqasem has found a surprisingly wide array of allies in her legal struggle.

- Advertisement -

Members of the small Zionist-left Meretz party visited her and demanded she be allowed to attend the course, which began on Sunday.

Ami Ayalon, a retired head of the Shin Bet, the secret police that oversees security checks at Israel's borders, warned that the agency was now "a problem for democracy" in repeatedly denying foreigners entry.

Vice-chancellors of eight Israeli universities sent a letter of protest to the government and 500 academics at Hebrew University submitted a petition decrying Ms Alqasem's incarceration.

The solidarity has been unprecedented -- and perplexing.

Israeli officials control entry not only to Israel but also to the occupied Palestinian territories. For decades, foreigners with Arab-sounding names -- like Ms Alqasem -- have been routinely harassed or turned back at the borders, with barely a peep from most on the Israeli left.

And over the same period, Israel has stripped many thousands of Palestinians from the occupied territories of the right to return to their homeland after living abroad. These abuses, too, have rarely troubled consciences in Israel.

- Advertisement -

So what makes Ms Alqasem's case different? The answer confers little credit on liberal Israelis.

Israel's universities are worried that the academic boycott has highlighted their long-term complicity in Israel's occupation and is gradually eroding their international standing. Joint research projects with foreign universities are in jeopardy, as is their lucrative income from programmes they wish to expand for overseas students.

The universities want to co-opt Ms Alqasem as a poster girl for academic freedom in Israel.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 3   Supported 2   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the 2011 winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The battle for Syria's skies will see a move from proxy clashes to direct ones

American liberals unleashed the Trump monster

After Sy Hersh's Bombshell Investigation, Why Won't Media Tell the Real Story of Trump's Military Strike in Syria?

Mandela: a Dissenting Opinion

Tide Turns against Israel: Pariah Status and Isolation Lie Ahead

Why Gaza must suffer again -- The four guilty parties behind Israel's attack

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

3 people are discussing this page, with 7 comments


Leslie Johnson

Become a Fan
Author 500983
Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Dec 9, 2014), 17 fans, 12 articles, 1 quicklinks, 946 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

I recognize the difference between Jewish people and the Zionists. I find the Zionists reprehensible.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018 at 1:33:58 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 

BFalcon

Become a Fan
Author 28059

(Member since Dec 20, 2008), 21 fans, 3 articles, 16034 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

"strategic affairs minister Gilad Erdan" ???

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 12:03:17 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

Daniel Geery

Become a Fan
Author 1198

(Member since Jul 9, 2009), 72 fans, 228 articles, 3396 quicklinks, 14967 comments, 180 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


  New Content

Israel demonizes itself better than anyone else possibly could.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 5:38:02 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
Indent

BFalcon

Become a Fan
Author 28059

(Member since Dec 20, 2008), 21 fans, 3 articles, 16034 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to Daniel Geery:   New Content

Merriam Webster:

"quos deus vult perdere prius dementat ":

" those whom a god wishes to destroy he first drives mad"

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 6:42:58 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
IndentIndent

Daniel Geery

Become a Fan
Author 1198

(Member since Jul 9, 2009), 72 fans, 228 articles, 3396 quicklinks, 14967 comments, 180 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to BFalcon:   New Content

She's done a good job so far!

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 at 7:41:26 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
IndentIndentIndent

BFalcon

Become a Fan
Author 28059

(Member since Dec 20, 2008), 21 fans, 3 articles, 16034 comments


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to Daniel Geery:   New Content

May we hope that everybody comes to their senses.

Submitted on Friday, Oct 19, 2018 at 6:01:36 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 
IndentIndentIndentIndent

Daniel Geery

Become a Fan
Author 1198

(Member since Jul 9, 2009), 72 fans, 228 articles, 3396 quicklinks, 14967 comments, 180 diaries


Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Reply to BFalcon:   New Content

I always have, but so far it's been bad luck. Working with kids kept me sane, but I fear society does a good job making us all nuts. Hope is a tricky matter, but I keep trying to have a gram or two of it. 😁

Submitted on Friday, Oct 19, 2018 at 1:35:38 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment