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Anshel Pfeffer @AnshelPfeffer
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
This may be an unpopular view on the left but I'm not entirely convinced that Israel has suddenly and radically changed its border-control policy towards Jewish activists and journalists, critical of Israeli policies. Am basing this both on anecdotal evidence and my sources >>
I know a number of Jewish journalists (including a couple who were very well-connected) and Jewish activists who have been detained for hours for questioning at Ben Gurion Airport, going back 10 years at least. Neither are black-lists of pro-BDS activists, including Jews, new. >>
What's obviously changed is in the past, most Jewish journalists or activists detained at Ben Gurion preferred not to go public for a variety of personal & professional reasons. Some preferred to believe it was a mistake. Today, being detained entering Israel is a badge of pride.
One veteran Jewish journalist who visited dozens of times, was questioned for hours four years ago told me "I didn't want to make a fuss. I plan to continue working in Israel." Another needed to make an emergency phone-call to an old source of his in the security establishment.>>
Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan boasted a few times recently of making black-lists of pro-BDS activists, including Jews. "He can tell those stories to stupid Likud members," a source told me. "We've had those lists before he was born." >>
Also, most activists and critical journalists, including quite prominent ones, still arriving without being detained. So even if border-control policy has changed, it's still quite haphazard. It remains in many cases under the discretion of the individual security agent on-duty>>
What has changed is that the hysteria being spread by Netanyahu, Erdan and other ministers, has filtered down to the frontline agents, who seem to be more likely to detain arrivals. And those who were detained more prepared to speak out than in the past.
And since my friend @yaakovkatz seems to think I'm belittling the detention of activists and journalists, I'll have to make it clear that I think it's a non-democratic and stupid practice, whether it's official policy or individual initiative. Either way, it's not a new practice.
Friend texts: "If I'd been on Twitter when I was grilled 7 years ago at Ben Gurion, I'd have kicked up a stink on the spot. But I finally got out exhausted and preferred to chalk it up to border-control incompetence. Today I wouldn't have remained silent"
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