Britain Bans Likud's Moshe Feiglin From Entering Country

Feiglin: 'I almost feel honored to be marked as the bad guy by a government that supports terror.'

Nadav Shragai
Haaretz Correspondent
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Nadav Shragai
Haaretz Correspondent

Moshe Feiglin, leader of the Likud's Jewish Leadership faction, was recently notified in a letter from British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith that he has been banned from entering the U.K.

The letter, written by an unnamed Border and Immigration Agency official on Smith's behalf, said the agency "considered that you are seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the U.K. ... This has brought you within the scope of the list of unacceptable behaviors," it was reported in the London Jewish Chronicle last week.

"In light of these factors, the Home Secretary is satisfied you should be excluded from the U.K. on the grounds that your exclusion is conducive to the public good. There is no right of appeal," the letter continued.

Smith based her decision on emergency laws introduced after a 2005 terrorist attack in London.

The Chronicle article quoted Feiglin as responding: "This is a British government problem, not mine. However, if somebody in Britain feels comfortable enough to do something like that, it should turn on some serious red lights in any British citizen who cares about democracy. Britain and America are letting in the real terrorists ... remember [Iranian] President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak at an American university."

The U.K. letter did not allege Feiglin had ever engaged in armed activities, but listed several quotes from articles he wrote, including one in which he calls for a holy war, now against Arabs, and another referring to the Prophet Muhammad as strong, cruel and deceitful.

In another quote cited in the letter, Feiglin wrote, Arabs are not sons of the desert but its father. They created the desert - everywhere they come vegetation stops and the wind blows everything away.

Feiglin acknowledged he wrote the statements, but said the reference to Arabs being the desert's father came from a 1938 book by Sir Claude Jarvis, then the British High Commissioner of Sinai.

The MK also told the Jewish Chronicle: "I almost feel honored, because of the way that the British government is behaving, to be marked as the bad guy by a government that supports terror. I see it almost as a compliment." He was referring to Britain's decision to allow entry to Ibrahim Mousawi, the editor of a Hezbollah journal, who visited the country on a speaking tour.

Feiglin told the paper that the letter "came out of the blue," and at first, he thought it might be a hoax.

"This is all very strange because I have no plans to visit Britain either in the short or long term. I have never been banned from anywhere else. In fact I am giving a lecture in Canada at the end of this month," Feiglin told the Jewish Chronicle.

The Home Office did not comment on its reasons for banning Feiglin from Britain, but issued a statement saying that the home secretary can exclude people whether or not they have applied to enter the country, while considering relevant information from other government departments and agencies.



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