Powered by WebAds

Friday, July 08, 2011


Acting on instructions from Israel, foreign airlines have banned some 300 people from boarding flights from Europe to the Jewish state.
Israel told the airlines that the blacklisted individuals, most of whom come from France, are unauthorized to enter the state. The air carriers, in turn, promised to prohibit these individuals from boarding flights.

Police say around 500 activists were due to participate in the fly-in, of them 342 have already been recognized. The Immigration Authority says 180 blacklisted passengers have been turned away by airlines. Police say those remaining will be detained upon arrival if they succeed in boarding flights.

The first flight carrying activists is scheduled to arrive at 11:30 pm Thursday, but flights arriving from Germany early Friday are expected to be carrying many more.

According to organizers of the fly-in, at least eight activists wishing to board a Malev Airlines flight from Paris to Budapest, and then Tel Aviv, were turned away.

One organizer, Nicholas Shashani, told Ynet that an airline official told them that she was following the Israeli Interior Ministry's orders, and showed them the list of barred individuals. Shashani claimed that they filed a complaint with police at the airport.
That complaint is a load of you-know-what. Every country has the right to decide whom to admit or not to admit through its borders. No other country can force Israel to admit that other country's citizens. And here's why the airlines are playing along:
Ruby Seibel, formerly the Foreign Ministry's legal adviser and an international law expert, told Ynet that according to international aviation regulations, airlines must return passengers who are refused entry by the country of destination to their home states, at the airlines' expense.

Thus, Seibel says, the airlines prefer not to allow personas non-grata onto their flights. "Every state can declare who can and cannot enter at its own discretions, and no one can undermine this," he said.
Haaretz adds:
The Transportation Ministry requested that foreign airlines report to Israeli authorities if any of the blacklisted passengers appear on their flights to Israel in the next 24 hours, stressing that these people will not be granted entry into Israel.


"This event will end with either no problems or as a catastrophe. There will not be a middle-ground," a senior official at Ben-Gurion International Airport told Haaretz. He said that it only takes about 30 activists to make a scene at the airport for media outlets to widely report on it and thus hand the activists their victory.

A senior official at a European airline told Haaretz that this was an unprecedented request on Israel's part. "In the past we have gotten one or two names that authorities had banned their entry," he said. "This move is problematic because if we receive an updated list later on, we will have to fly back the plane at the expense of other passengers who had purchased regular tickets."

On Thursday at 10 P.M., a military command post will be opened at Ben-Gurion, in order to directly tend to the pro-Palestinian activists expected to arrive over the weekend.
So far no problems. It didn't even make the 11:00 am news, but as I understand it, the real test will be around 3:00 this afternoon.

JPost reports that two American useful idiots were sent back to Athens on Friday morning, and that 20 people were barred from boarding a Malev flight in Paris to Budapest, where they planned to connect to Israel. In all, at least 180 people have been turned away at European ticket counters. Even the French have told their citizens that there is little they can do to help them.
The French Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday saying it was “very worried” about possible incidents at Ben-Gurion as a result of the planned air flotilla.

“The Israeli authorities, who have exclusive judicial authority concerning entrance and exit from Israeli territory, have declared that they will not allow entrance to people representing a potential threat to public order,” the statement said.

French Foreign Ministry officials met with one of the groups involved in the initiative – EuroPalestine – and warned it about the dangers posed by the operation, including the possibility that those involved would be jailed in Israel if they refused deportation. Travel advisories have been issued by the ministry in Paris.

French Embassy officials in Israel had been mobilized to give assistance if needed to any French citizen, according to the statement. The assistance could be more effective if the French authorities had names of those who were involved in the operation, something the organizers refused to provide, the French ministry said.

The French Foreign Ministry also said that Paris was committed to “freedom of movement into and out of the West Bank,” which it said needed to be accessible to foreign visitors.
Here's a video from Paris. Let's go to the videotape.

If anyone speaks French, please feel free to translate.

Finally, a few recent updates. Two Dutch journalists have been banned (link in Dutch). Here's a translated summary from a Dutch speaker.
Bud Witchers, a free lance journalist for ANP, Reuters and AFP and his photographer were banned from flying to Israel while checking in on a El-Al plane at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam

Israeli embassy in the Hague says it has nothing to do with flytilla or flotillia and was related to airport security.

El-Al however confirms Bud Witchers was on a blacklist of the Shin Beth.
Witchers was one of the four Dutch journalists who bailed out from the Dutch Gaza boat.

Needless to say the story is big news in the Dutch media.
And some recent tweets:

Have to watch the Lufthansa flight from Germany (arrives around 2:30), but so far we seem to be doing well. What could go wrong?

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home