Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Editorial Note: The
following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may
also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology.
Comments are in parentheses.
Jewish American, Harold Fuller-Bennett, Challenges
Denial of Entry to Israel for Suspected Conversion to Islam
Tuesday July 26, 2011 20:23 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News
Last year, Israeli occupation government security forces at Ben
Gurion Airport denied entry to 30-year old Jewish American Harold
Fuller-Bennett because they claim he was "suspected of conversion to
Islam". Fuller-Bennett hired Israeli lawyers to challenge the claim,
which he says is bizarre and completely unfounded, and just won his case
in Israeli court.
While denial of entry to foreign nationals
based on their political beliefs has become common in Israel in recent
years, Fuller-Bennett's case is unusual because he is an avowed Zionist
and supporter of the state of Israel. Most of those denied entry are
supporters of Palestinian equal rights, which Israeli security services
claim is sufficient cause to deport them, but Fuller-Bennett is not.
In fact, just two years before being denied entry, Fuller-Bennett
had been a participant in the 'Birthright Israel' program, which
provides free trips to Israel for young Jews to expose them to the
Israeli narrative on the situation, and encourage them to 'make aliyah'
and move to Israel permanently.
About his 'Birthtright Israel'
trip, Fuller-Bennett wrote, "We had a number of engaging Israeli
military members on our bus. I am still Facebook friends with some of
them. My conversations with them taught me much about the complexity of
modern Israel, and the difficulty of being born into a state with a
With Israel's use of 'psychological screening'
techniques at the airport, security services take aside people who seem
nervous, unsure, or less than 100% supportive of the Israeli state and
the Zionist project. In Fuller-Bennett's case, his passport was
originally stamped with an entry stamp, but then he was taken aside for
questioning, which he said he was completely unprepared for. He
apparently became nervous at the intense questioning, and was told that
he was a security threat.
The entry stamp on his passport was
then crossed out, and replaced with an 'Entry Denied' stamp, put on a
plane and deported for a term of ten years.
In his subsequent
court case challenging the denial of entry, Israeli security forces said
that they believed Fuller-Bennett had 'connections to terrorists' and
that he may have 'converted to Islam', but provided no evidence to back
either of these claims.
This week, an Israeli judge ruled in
Fuller-Bennett's favor, and he will now be allowed to visit Israel
Supporters of Palestinian equal rights who have challenged
their deportation orders, of which there have been thousands in recent
years, have been almost universally denied in Israeli court, which has
ruled over and over again that support for Palestinian equal rights is a
treasonous political position -- even for Israeli citizens.
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