Israel’s supreme court blocks deportation of BDS supporter

The Supreme Court halted the deportation of Lara Alqasem, an Arab-American student ordered out of the country for supporting BDS.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The Supreme Court stopped the deportation of Lara Alqasem, the Arab-American student ordered out of the country by the Israeli government due to her involvement with a group that supports the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement.

Alqasem admits she served two years as president of the University of Florida’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. SJP supports BDS and its members have often engaged an virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric online. Before coming to Israel to study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Alqasem purged her social media accounts.

A week ago, Israel’s immigration authority barred Lara Alqasem, who is 22 years old and of Palestinian extraction, from entering the country based on her alleged anti-Israel activities. The decision sparked international criticism, including from some mainstream Jewish groups in the U.S., such as the Anti-Defamation League.

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan has defended Israel’s decision to remove Alqasem, saying, “We don’t want to see [SJP] activists coming to Israel and trying to use our infrastructure to harm us and destroy us.”

In 2017, the Knesset passed a law barring any non-citizen who “knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel” from entering the country. The government formed a blacklist of some 20 groups, including the SJP.

The high court will hear Alqasem’s appeal on Wednesday, according to reports.