Mairead Maguire deported from Israel overnight

According to the Jerusalem Post, “Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire was deported from Israel on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry confirmed, after boarding a flight to the UK earlier in the morning [n.b. – before dawn]. On Monday evening, the Supreme Court ruled that Maguire must leave Israel, in accordance with a deportation order barring her from entering the country for the next 10 years”. This news was published here.

The Supreme Court justices indicated that they based their reasoning on their belief that Maguire knew that her two previous deportations, in the context of her participating in sea expeditions designed to “break” the Israeli maritime blockade of Gaza, also included ten-year bans from entering Israel.

It is not clear how the justices arrived at the conclusion that Maguire knew about the ten-year ban.

They also said that Maguire should have addressed herself — and apparently still has the right to appeal — to Israel’s Interior Ministry against the ten-year ban.

The only discussion I’ve seen about this elsewhere revolves now around whether or not Maguire received a Hebrew-language document (which was supposed to have been explained to her in English in the presence of two witnesses) about her deportation, which she may have disregarded, and which she apparently did not sign because she would have objected to the charge that she entered Israel illegally. But, did she know about the ten-year ban?

One news report, which we cited in an earlier post, mentioned a document prepared for the Court with the assistance of the Irish Embassy in Israel — suggesting, though it was not clear, that the Irish Embassy might have been aware of the ten-year ban.

In addition, the Israeli state attorney’s representative told the Supreme Court that Israel’s Foreign Ministry was sure that one of the organizers of the Nobel women’s initiative (which sponsored Maguire’s trip to participate in meetings held in various places in Israel and the West Bank over the past week) had inquired, and was aware of, the ten-year ban.

But Maguire herself — who does not at all appear to be a practised liar — told the Supreme Court that she was “shocked” to learn of the ten-year ban when she arrived on a flight on 28 September.

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Israeli Supreme Court upholds deportation decision for Mairead Maguire

The Israeli Supreme Court has apparently decided to stand behind a deportation decision made last Tuesday at Ben Gurion Airport when Northern Ireland’s Mairead Maguire landed to attend a conference of women Nobel Peace Prize winners with Israeli and Palestinian women.

Maguire had participated in three expeditions to break the seige on Gaza by sea, and received two previous deportation orders which also banned her from returning to Israel for the next ten years.

A panel of three Supreme Court justices said they did not believe Maguire was unaware of the ban.

Israel’s state attorney convinced the Supreme Court that Maguire should have appealed the matter through Israel’s Interior Ministry rather than just flying to Israel and showing up at the airport.

Continue reading Israeli Supreme Court upholds deportation decision for Mairead Maguire

Mairead Maguire appears before Israel's Supreme Court

But it apparently did not go very well.

According to a report by the Associated Press, published in Haaretz, “Maguire, her face pale and twitching, called on Israel to cease what she called its ‘apartheid policy against the Palestinian people’.” But, the AP report noted, “The comments were unlikely to endear Maguire to the court”.

What happened next, AP said, was that “Justice Asher Grunis retorted [‘This is no place for propaganda’] and cut her off. The session ended soon thereafter”.

UPDATE: It was the seventh day of Maguire’s detention. She was briefly hospitalized two days earlier… Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab minority rights in Israel, which was representing Maguire, wrote in an press release [on Sunday 3 October] announcing its appeal to the Supreme Court that “Ms. Maguire fell ill on Friday evening 1 October following her [earlier] court hearing [in the Central District Court in Petah Tikvah] and was taken to a local hospital for tests. Ms. Maguire rested in the hospital for three hours before returning to her holding cell at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Detention officers allowed Ms. Maguire only partial access to her medical records and refused a phone call to her husband in Ireland. Ms. Maguire has now been in detention for six days”. This was published here.

AP added, in its report on the Supreme Court session, that “The government opposed a court-proposed compromise that Maguire be allowed to join the delegation for two days and then leave”. This report is published here.

The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday night that there are actually two deportation orders against Maguire, and that the Israeli Foreign Ministry had previously indicated, earlier this year, that it could not intervene.

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Mairead Maguire to appeal deportation in Israel's Supreme Court

The Jerusalem Post has reported that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire has decided to appeal her imminent deportation from Israel to the country’s Supreme Court. This is reported here.

UPDATE: Maguire has also challenged her continuing detention, which began last Tuesday. She is asking to be admitted or given entry into Israel.

Gideon Levy wrote in Haaretz earlier today, here, that a Nobel Peace Prize winner had been locked up in Israel and nobody cared.

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There was violence in IDF boarding of Jewish boat heading to Gaza

Yes, we now know, there was indeed violence in the Israeli naval takeover of the Irene, the “Jewish Boat” that had audaciously sailed from a northern Cyprus port last weekend, heading toward Gaza.

Predictably, most of it was directed against “refusniks” Yonatan Shapira, who once served as an Israeli Air Force pilot, and — to a lesser extent — his younger brother Itamar.

Yonatan signed “A Pilot’s letter” with 26 other Israeli Air Force pilots in September 2003, saying “we are no longer willing to follow illegal orders”, protesting targetted assassinations in particular in Gaza, which he said were “war crimes”. He formed, with former Palestinian fighters, a group called “Combattants for Peace”, which he described in an interview on Democracy Now:

Yonatan repeated his accusation of “war crime” in an interview with the BBC on 6 January 2009, at the height of the IDF Operation Cast Lead in Gaza [27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009]:

The views he expresses in these Youtube videos show why it was predictable that Yonatan would have been treated with greater violence during the Israeli naval take-over of the Irene, the Jewish Boat to Gaza.

Yonatan received three strong electric shocks from a taser gun — twice, it was fired directly onto his chest, over his heart.

Continue reading There was violence in IDF boarding of Jewish boat heading to Gaza