Gulf News (Editorial)
July 11, 2011 - 12:00am

There is no end to the arrogance of Israel. Authorities in the Jewish state have arrested more than 100 citizens of foreign countries at its airport simply because those foreigners hold beliefs which are contrary to those prevailing in Israel. Some 124 foreign citizens holding passports from France, the United States, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Spain were arrested as they tried to land at Tel Aviv airport off different flights. All are ready to participate, the Israelis believe, in pro-Palestinian campaigns coinciding with the second international flotilla to Gaza. A flotilla last year ended in bloody violence on the high seas of the Mediterranean as Israeli paratroopers stormed and killed activists trying to end the illegal blockade on Gaza.

In the past three weeks, Israeli authorities have gone to great levels to subvert every effort to prevent vessels sailing from international harbours. And sadly, as is the case with Greek officials, some Mediterranean states have been willing to collaborate with Tel Aviv to suppress freedom of expression and movement.

But Israel does not need collaborators — it is all too willing to use its powers as a repressive and occupying state to thwart international activists.

Rounding up those with opinions contrary to those sanctioned by the state smacks of the actions of German authorities prior to the Second World War. Arbitrary imprisonment by police without judicial sanction simply for holding contrary political opinions? Israel is also obtaining passenger lists in advance from airlines in an attempt to thwart more activists entering the country and enjoying Tel Aviv's infamous hospitality in prisons near the city and the Negev desert.

We should also advise those detained by the Israelis to check their passports carefully — one might have reason to suspect they might turn up during a Mossad assassination operation.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017