You may have already read about Lara Alqasem, the US student denied entry into Israel on suspicion she is a BDS-hole, after receiving a student visa based on her enrollment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
But this post isn’t so much about her as it is about the pathological Israel liar and hater, DouchebloggerTM Richard Silverstein, who read this report about her.
The Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday will set a date for its ruling on the appeal of 22-year-old Lara Alqasem against Israel’s ban on her entry to Israel. Alqasem was denied entry on suspicion that she is a BDS supporter, although she received a student visa based on her enrollment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has been held for five days at the detention facility at Ben-Gurion airport, where she is to remain until final disposition of her case.
Alqasem, an American citizen whose grandparents are Palestinian, arrived in Israel on Tuesday night, holding a one-year A2 student visa issued to her by the Israeli Consulate in Miami. She is enrolled as an M.A. student in human rights at the Hebrew University. Despite holding a valid visa, she was detained at the airport because her name was flagged in the computer as a BDS activist by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.
A report on Alqasem’s activities by the Strategic Affairs Ministry, obtained by Haaretz, included information from five Web links. Four of the five were from Facebook, and one, the main one, was from a right-wing website, Canary Mission. According to the information in the report, classified as “sensitive,” Alqasem was a member of an organization called “Students for Justice in Palestine,” and in 2016–2017, she was president of the local chapter on her campus. During that time, according to the report, the chapter conducted a campaign calling for the boycott of Sabra hummus, the American version of Hummus Tzabar, a writers’ petition calling on a cultural center to refuse sponsorship by Israel for its activities and praising the fact that an international security company had stopped operations in Israel.
Alqasem told the appeals tribunal that the chapter in question, of which she had indeed been a member, had only a few members, about five, and that she was not considered “senior” in the national organization, as stated in the criteria for denial of entry based on Israel’s anti-BDS law. Alqasem said that at that time she had personally supported boycotts of Israel and had been active in campaigns, but that she left the organization in 2017 and does not now support BDS. If she did, she told the tribunal, she would not have come to study in Israel. She pledged to the tribunal that while in Israel she would not call for a boycott or participate in BDS activities, either directly or indirectly, and would not visit the occupied territories.
Attorneys for the state countered that the fact that Alqasem deleted her details from social media networks shows that her motives were not legitimate. They also said that she had been a member of a chapter of an organization that is part of a national organization whose key activists are barred entry to Israel under the anti-BDS law.Lecturers who taught Alqasem in the past, including Israelis, submitted letters of support for her to the court. Prof. Tamir Sorek of the Jewish Studies Center at the University of Florida wrote that Alqasem has come under heavy criticism by BDS activists for her decision to study in Israel and that “it is inconceivable that Israel is preventing her from breaking the boycott by means of a law intended to fight the boycott.”
Another lecturer, Dror Avner David, who taught Alqasem Hebrew, wrote that she “had never expressed any negative sentiment or anger at Israel” and that her choice of the Hebrew University shows that she does not boycott Israel.
The Hebrew University has also rallied behind Alqasem’s cause.
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan tweeted his response Friday, saying that Alqasem was a “foreign boycott activist who served as head of a chapter of one of the BDS organizations acting violently” to silence supporters of Israel on campuses in the United States. According to the law, Erdan wrote, citing the ruling of the appeals tribunal, Alqasem should not be allowed into Israel. “No sane country would allow foreigners to enter it who come to hurt its citizens and in any way… The fact that Alqasem made light of the campaigns in which she took part and her organization does not change the truth. She is a boycott activist who wants to harm Israel and the companies in Israel that provide a livelihood for thousands of people.
MKs Tamar Zandberg, Mossi Raz and Michal Rozin (Meretz) and Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union) expressed their support over the weekend for Alqasem to study in Israel.
His reaction? You couldn’t make it up!
Yup, because she says she no longer supports a boycott of Israel, she is a “shill for Liberal Zionism” and Israel should expel her so that Israel can look bad.
Silverstein is clearly not right in the head and seems to have boycotted his own brain cells.
The good news for him is that this does not disqualify him from continuing to appear on Iranian propaganda outlet Press TV and represent himself as a “journalist”. On the contrary – his outlandish hatred of Israel makes him a great choice as regular guest.