An American student has become the latest victim of Israel’s law targeting supporters of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Lara Alqasem, 22, has been held since last Tuesday at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport.
WATCH: Israel has detained American student Lara Alqasem for nearly a week and is trying to deport her because she was a supporter of the movement to boycott Israel over its human rights abuses. Israel routinely racially profiles visitors arriving at the borders they control pic.twitter.com/NYifIM0E7j
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) October 9, 2018
Lara Alqasem, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen with Palestinian grandparents, landed at Ben-Gurion Airport last Tuesday with a valid student visa. But she was barred from entering the country and ordered deported, based on suspicions she is a boycott supporter.
Occupation regime tells Palestinian American student Lara Alqasem that if she publicly denounces BDS movement and declares it illegitimate she will be allowed to study at occupier university. https://t.co/rzlDDHILOz
— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) October 9, 2018
Her “crime”, according to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, is that while studying for her bachelor’s degree in Florida, she was president of an organization that supported the BDS campaign against Israel.
An Israeli court has ordered that she remain in custody while she appeals.
A fundraiser to pay the legal costs of a U.S. student detained in Israel for a week has raised over $11K. Israel rejected the student visa of Lara Alqasem, who is of Palestinian descent, alleging she supports boycotts of Israel. She’s appealing the decision. (?: Esawi Frej) pic.twitter.com/rqtjBieNug
— AJ+ (@ajplus) October 9, 2018
As of Sunday afternoon, supporters of the student have raised nearly $6,500 for her legal fund on a GoFundMe page. On Monday, over 100 academics and Jewish professionals signed a petition demanding that Israeli authorities release the Palestinian-American student.
Lara Alqasem got permission from the Israeli consulate to study at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. Upon landing, she was detained and ordered deported. She has been held for six days. https://t.co/1SGuQ6J6TZ
— +972 Magazine (@972mag) October 9, 2018
Alqasem is the latest individual to fall foul of the Israeli law targeting supporters of BDS. In May, US civil rights activists were deported by the Israeli authorities following their detention at Ben Gurion Airport. The law has been slammed by human rights groups, which have denounced the measure as “blatantly anti-democratic”.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)