Netanyahu apologizes after Shin Bet detains American Jewish journalist

The Shin Bet security agency has apologized for detaining American Jewish journalist Peter Beinart at Ben Gurion Airport. 

By: TPS and World Israel News

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet)  issued an apology Monday after American Jewish journalist, author and academic Peter Beinart was detained and questioned at Ben Gurion Airport when he arrived in the country for his niece’s bat mitzvah earlier this week.

Beinart, who in the past has advocated for a boycott of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria,  published a blog post in the American Jewish website The Forward in which he said he had been taken aside for questioning and asked whether he had ever participated in any demonstrations in Israel.

In March, the Knesset passed a law banning foreigners who promote a boycott of Israel from entering the country.

On Monday, the Shin Bet said Beinart was detained due to “the mistaken considerations of personnel on the ground. We apologize for the inconvenience suffered by Mr. Beinart. The head of the Shin Bet has ordered an inquiry into the incident.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said via a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office that he had spoken with the agency to inquire when the incident occurred and was told it was due to an administrative error.

“Israel is an open society which welcomes all – critics and supporters alike. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where people voice their opinions freely and robustly,” Netanyahu said.

In response, Beinart tweeted, “Benjamin Netanyahu has half-apologized for my detention yesterday at Ben Gurion airport. I’ll accept when he apologizes to all the Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans who every day endure far worse.”