Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Pro-Palestinian Activists at Ben-Gurion Airport

Israel is planning to deport hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who have announced they will be visiting the West Bank via Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport on and around July 8. Five such French and Belgian activists have already been sent back to their countries of origin.

Israel should not treat these activists the same way as it treats the participants of the Gaza-bound flotillas. The West Bank is not Gaza. We have not imposed a blockade on it, and it is controlled by Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, not by Hamas or any other terrorist organization. There is no reason for us not to allow foreigners to visit the West Bank, especially since they are not planning on participating in confrontations with Israelis.

I'm not crazy about these activists coming en masse, and I probably don't agree with most of them. I assume many see Israel as a villain and some support BDS. However, those are not reasons to ban them. Sending them back home will only make us look bad in the media. There's nothing to lose by letting them in, either. They're pro-Palestinian as it is, so we have nothing to fear about them getting brainwashed during their stay in the West Bank.

Note (July 9): I no longer agree with this post. Banning the activists turned out to be a great success.

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