Saturday, July 9, 2011

July 14 UPDATES: Peace Activists in Israel: Latest Reports

US Center in DC for ongoing dialogue/films/events on these issues:
See The Jerusalem Fund GO here where you can find a google map by going to home and then Contact Us (bottom of page)
2425 Virginia Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20037
202.338.1958 (main)
202.333.7742 (fax)


Press Release 6 "Welcome to Palestine" - Court Challenges of the Deportation Orders Today and Tomorrow: Bethlehem and Jerusalem, July 13, 2011. Court dates have been set for noon today and tomorrow at 9 am for the court challenges of "Welcome to Palestine" participants against the deportation orders of the Israeli government that they and their attorneys consider illegal. The hearings will take place at the Central District Courthouse in Petah Tikva.

The hearing at noon today concerns two Australians who flew from Athens to Ben Gurion airport yesterday to join the "Welcome to Palestine" initiative: Sylvia Hale, a retired member of the NSW Parliament and member of the Green Party, and Vivienne Porzsolt, a member of Jews against the Occupation, both 69 years old had, been aboard the Flotilla II Free Gaza ship, the "MV Tahrir," which the Greek government prevented from sailing to Gaza. Other members of Flotilla II have decided to come visit Palestine and contacted the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign, including the US activist Kathy Kelly. "We are now inundated with requests to visit Palestine which is the opposite of what the Israeli authorities had tried to do by their brutal denial of travel to a few hundred activists" said Mazin Qumsiyeh, one of the organizers and the campaign's local media spokesperson.

Tomorrow at 9 am (Thursday as of this posting) Angelica Seyfrid of Berlin, Germany, will challenge deportation orders. Ms. Seyfrid, an artist and translator, worked for many weeks to raise money for travel costs so that unemployed persons and students in Germany could join "Welcome to Palestine." On July 8th, Ms. Seyfrid flew from Berlin to Tel Aviv with members of the German, Austrian, French and Belgian delegations of "Welcome to Palestine." All were immediately detained upon arrival to Ben Gurion airport and most were deported without opportunity of legal counsel. Members of the German and Austrian delegation were deported on Sunday, July 10th via Lufthansa Airlines, and on Monday, July 11th, via Australian Airlines respectively. According to the German Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Israeli authorities denied access to attorneys seeking to represent the incarcerated Germans.

"Israel denied the entry of Noam Chomsky because he wanted to have a talk with students from Nablus," said Attorney Omer Shatz. "Israel denied the entry of Ivan Prado the famous clown just because he wished to make Ramahalla's kids happy. Israel denied entry to anyone who wants to visit Palestine. Such a regime that doesn't let people to visit millions of Palestinians living under oppressing military occupation for 44 years now."

"Our hearts go out to Angelica, and we fully support her courageous refusal to accept the illegal Israeli deportation orders," said Elsa Rassbach, a US citizen living in Berlin and member of CODEPINK and the German section of the War Resistors International, who helped organize the German delegation and is coordinating the international media for the initiative from Berlin. Together with members of the French and UK delegations to "Welcome to Palestine," Ms. Rassbach visited Palestine during an earlier campaign of support during Christmas last year. However, the French activist, Olivia ZĂ©mor, was denied entry and deported during the same time.

While Israel succeeded in preventing hundreds of people from entering Palestine, many others did enter to join this week's program of activities. Israeli forces have incarcerated at least two supporters, including a young man from Belgium who participated in yesterday's peaceful attempt to enter the Palestinian villages of Beit Ommar (now off-limits due to Israeli colonial activities). Israelis also decided to join the activities and several were also arrested.

"The local organizers of the 'Welcome to Palestine' campaign, while sad about the continuing attempts at isolation from the international community, are pleased that this episode of brutal Israeli assault removes one of the last illusions about 'Israeli Democracy'," said Dr. Qumsiyeh.

Media Contacts:


JERUSALEM: Sergio Yahni,, +972(0)526375032

BETHLEHEM: Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh,, +972(0)598939532 (English and Arabic), and Fadi Kattan (French) +970 (0) 595 754 100

FRANCE: Nicolas Shahshahani, +33(0)1 42 94 39 94 and +33(0)673 38 24 84

GERMANY: Sophia Deeg,, +49(0)88 007761,+49(0)1799878414

UK: Sofiah MacLeod,,+44(0)7931 200 36100,+44(0)131 620 0052

USA: Karin Pally, or, +;1 310-399-1921

INTERNATIONAL Media Coordination: Elsa Rassbach,, +49 (0) 30 326 01540 or +49 (0) 170 738 1450 Skype: elsarassbach

Please stay informed through our websites:






The Israeli Knesset passed a law barring Israeli citizens from speaking out in support of the growing civil campaign of boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS). The response of all of us should be unambiguous: increase our focus on BDS around the world. Just like with Apartheid South Africa, the Zionist regime will not give back any rights to the native people without significant pressure from both outside and inside. We in Palestine urge all people of conscience to apply maximum pressure and continue to grow civil society campaigns to challenge Israeli apartheid. Silence is complicity.

Action: Call to free "The Audacity of Hope" from Greek military doc

Action: Tell TIAA-CREF CEO Roger Ferguson he can't run from Occupation.

After banning international activists from West Bank, Israel tries to do same with Israelis

Why the Left shouldn’t take boycott law to the High Court

Children playing kites in Jerusalem Shot by the Zionist army in the day of "Freedom in Colors"

Children vs Israeli terror

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home


See other related items soon at the blogsite


EARLIER Events/contacts:

"Welcome to Palestine" Coalition and Others Join in Condemning the recent Attack by Israeli Forces on HR Activists.

(links to some media stories at bottom along with Dr. Qumsiyeh's own sites)

Please circulate

Press Release 4: Human rights advocates attacked by Israeli forces after detention at airport

Bethlehem and Jerusalem 9 July 2011.-- Palestinians in the "Welcome to Palestine" coalition condemn in the strongest possible terms the attack by Israeli forces on dozens of detained human rights activists. One of those detained reported (before his phone was apparently removed) how 32 people were held together in one room and then attacked, forcefully handcuffed and dragged into separate transfer vehicles. They were then forcefully transferred to the Ramle detention facility by the forces of the apartheid regime. Lawyers have been trying to reach the Ministry of Interior to gain access to the abductees and to assure that they receive their right to legal representation, to visits from their country consular staff, and to call their families. Israeli authorities said they are holding 85 people pending deportation "on the next available flight". We know of activists held who come from Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, and Ireland. Multiple flights were also delayed before departure (apparently to give Israel more time). Activists held demonstrations at several airports in Europe.

Supporters who tried to welcome our visitors were stopped and denied entrance to the airport. Each airport visitor was asked to show either that he/she is traveling or that they are there to meet a specific person (names were checked against arriving flight passenger lists). The few who did manage to get in were immediately attacked even as they peacefully tried to wait for arriving guests. Six were arrested for exercising their right to free speech.

We held a press conference Friday morning to explain our invitation, our campaign, and the week program. We decried the compliance of some airlines in human rights violations (Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Malev, and Easy Jet). It amounts to the export and outsourcing of policies of occupation and human rights violations from Israel to other countries. Friday weekly demonstrations in the West Bank raised the banner of human solidarity and decried the Israeli attacks. We decried the defamatory statements about our visitors that paved the grounds for violating their rights. A demonstration was also held Friday afternoon in front of the Israeli Ministry of Interior.

We announced our program for the week which commenced successfully with vigils in solidarity with those detained at 6 PM on Friday in the Manara square in Ramallah and the Nativity Square in Bethlehem. Many internationals were there including four who came for our July 8-16 program despite Israel's draconian measures to stop this. Their presence at these peaceful events showed the lie told by Israeli authorities that these are "hooligans" and "trouble makers" whose mere entrance to Palestine was presented to the Israeli public as an existential threat. The real hooligans and trouble-makers turned out to be Israeli government officials and security personnel.

Israeli Occupation forces are now searching for Internationals crossing the (illegal) checkpoints to the South of Ramallah. But our program continues with two concurrent events scheduled in the Ramallah governorate 9 July 2011 (anniversary of the World Court ruling on the illegality of the apartheid wall and colonial settlements): 11 AM gathering in Bilin for an event elsewhere and then ending in Qalandia at 3 PM and a noon function at Qalandia. Details of other functions are available upon request.

We urge all people to write to the media, to their governments, and to all fellow human beings to say that "enough is enough": Israel must be forced to respect basic human rights, allow free travel and most of all end apartheid and colonization. As a matter of urgency, Western governments must insist that Israeli authorities release those they kidnapped, afford them all protections due them, and punish officials who mistreated our guests.

Media Contacts:

JERUSALEM: Sergio Yahni,, +972(0)526375032

BETHLEHEM: Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh,, +972(0)598939532

FRANCE: Nicolas Shahshahani,

GERMANY: Sophia Deeg,, +49(0)88 007761, +49(0)1799878414

UK: Sofiah MacLeod,,+44(0)7931 200 36100, +44(0)131 620 0052

USA: Karin Pally, or, +;1 310-399-1921


English Blog:

Arabic Blog:




Other strides in major news outlets,0,6383210.story

Report on event at Nativity square

AFPS: Roissy n’est pas Ben Gourion Airport !

Mazin Qumsiyeh

A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home


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