GUSH SHALOM -- Israel to Deport Eight International Peace Activists

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Fri Jul 18 05:08:49 MDT 2003


GUSH SHALOM  pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 www.gush-shalom.org


Tobias, Tarek, Fredrick, Bill, Daniel, Alex, Saul and Thomas - eight  peace
activists of nearly as many countries will be deported from
Israel/Palestine as "dangerous to state security". The efforts invested by
their four lawyers, Leah Tsemel, Gabi
Laski, Shammai Leibowitz and Yoni Lerman - all in vain. We didn't stop this
- even with several US diplomats present in the courtroom. It is clear that
there has been a high-up decision to get rid of the ISM. The fact that this
actually proves the
effectiveness of their method of non-violent action is meagre consolation.

The trial itself was truly a farce.  From the outset the attitude of the
judge was evident.  He was aggressive, particularly with Leah Tsemel.The
state insisted that the ISM endangers soldiers' lives by interfering with
their activities.  But no proof was
given of this occurring for any of today's defendants.  Yet both the state
and the judge reiterated the broad powers given to the Minister of
Interior to grant or deny visas, and to deport--all without having to
furnish a reason.  And indeed, the judge omitted furnishing any reason for
his verdict, as though he were a clerk sent by the Ministry of the Interior
rather than an impartial observer
carefully weighing on the
scales of justice the arguments of both sides.


[in the above was made use of the report of Dorothy Naor
<dor_naor at netvision.net.il> of New Profile]


Below find the ISM report.


Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 18:16:42 +0000
From: Rapprochement Centre <ism-alerts at palsolidarity.org>
Subject: [palsolidarity] Israel to Deport Eight International Peace Activists


International Solidarity Movement
July 17, 2003
For Immediate Release


Israel to Deport Eight International Peace Activists


Today Tel Aviv District Court Judge Nissim Yeshaya upheld the deportation
orders of eight Internati
onal Peace activists who were
working with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).  Of the eight
activists, Tobias Karlsson
(SWEDEN), Tarek Loubani (CANADA),
Fredrick Lind (DENMARK), Bill Capowski (USA), Daniel Knutsson (SWEDEN),
Alex Perry (UK), Saul Reid
(UK) and Thomas Pellas (FRANCE)


Four were arrested on July 9 while at a camp on Palestinian land in the
village of Arrabony near Jenin slated to be confiscated by Israel for the
building of the separation wall, and four on July 10 while helping to
remove roadblocks near the city of Nablus calling attention to the
restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement under the occupation.


They were subsequently issued deportation orders by the Ministry of the
Interior.


The Israeli military has claimed that the ISM and all peace activists are a
security threat and the lawyer for the state used this as the argument for
why the activists should be deported.  No evidence as to the illegality of
the defendants' actions was presented.

Signed affidavits that the presence and work of ISM is important were
submitted by prominent Israeli organizations and individuals such as Bat
Shalom, MK Yossi Sarid and several Israeli professors.  The judge sided
with the state lawyers saying that under Israeli law the Ministry of the
Interior has unlimited power to deport and revoke visas of internationals.


The policy of punishing international peace activists without any evidence
other than labeling them a security threat is an expansion of Israel's
policy of using administrative detention to punish Palestinians the
military labels a security threat.
Currently there are over 1,000 Palestinians being held in administrative
detention after having secret evidence used against them.  Administrative
detention is an indefinitely renewable six months of captivity.  Many
Palestinians have now been held in detention for years without any charge
or knowledge of when they might be released.


After the ruling, a lawyer for the eight defendants requested a one-week
stay on the deportations to allow time to file an appeal.  The request was
denied.


Two Israeli citizens were also arrested with one of the groups of
activists.  Both were released wi
thout charge.  Some of the activists reported being kicked and otherwise
abused while interrogated
after the arrests and at least one was severely
beaten after they stopped eating in protest two days ago.


For a picture of the eight in court please see our website:
www.palsolidarity.org


For more information please contact:
Huwaida: +972-67-473308
ISM Media Office: +972-2-2774602




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