Israel Denies Entry to U.S. Jewish BDS Activist

Ariel Gold arrived in Israel on a student visa, which was revoked at the airport ■ Activist says Israeli authorities accused her of lying about why she had arrived, but claims: 'I didn't lie'

The Population and Immigration Authority prevented the entry of a Jewish-American citizen into Israel on Monday night over her ties to the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement.

The BDS activist, named Ariel Gold, is known for her work on boycotts against Israel as part of Code Pink, a far-left peace and social justice NGO.

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Gold arrived in Israel as a tourist a few months ago, and during her stay it became clear that she was a known BDS activist. A statement issued by the Interior Ministry said that upon her departure from Israel, she received a letter informing her that her next visit to Israel would have to be made in advance.

She recently contacted the authorities and claimed that she wanted to come to Israel for Jewish studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Gold landed at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport on Sunday afternoon at around 4 P.M., and was stalled at the airport for several hours. Around 11 P.M. she was told that she was refused entry

When her status was clarified, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan recommended preventing her entry into Israel. Following the recommendation, Interior Minister Arye Dery decided to cancel her studies visa and prevent her from entering Israel.

"Gold has distributed videos on social networks, in which she harasses IDF soldiers and Border Police officers in Hebron, accusing the soldiers of apartheid and oppression, and that their actions do not conform to Jewish values," wrote Minister Erdan.

Gold told Haaretz that she made sure to obtain an entry visa prior to boarding the flight to Israel due to a demand by authorities that was made the last time she visited Israel. She also presented to Haaretz the form she signed during her previous visit. In the form, which was produced by the Population Authority, Gold declared that she would only enter Israel with an approved visa (which she did in this case).

Gold said that was questioned three times. Her attorney, Gabi Lasky, said that was questioned about her personal relations with Issa Amro, a Palestinian activist from Hebron. Gold said that she came to Israel in order to participate in a course at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem centering on the theme of the "collective memory in Israel."

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According to Gold, the only reason she was refused entry was that she "lied," but Israeli authorities officials who spoke to her refused to say what she had lied about. "I didn't lie and they wouldn't explain what it was that I had lied about," she said.    

The organization that Gold was a part of says that it is "a feminist organization that supports and promotes BDS against Israel."

According to the recommendation by Erdan's office, "in the course of its activity against HP, Gold is re-poking posts by the BDS movement calling for a boycott of the company." The recommendation also states that "Gold is not only an activist, but aggressively active in Israel and abroad."

Interior Minister Dery said in response: “I am again using my authority to prevent the entry into Israel of a woman who came to act against Israel and call for its boycott. This is a Jew who tried to abuse this fact. Those boycott activists must understand that the rules of the game have changed. They will no longer be allowed to enter the country to harm the state and its residents.”

Minister Erdan said, "The policy I have set is clear: Whoever consistently acts to boycott Israel will not enter here. The rules have changed, and the State of Israel will not restrain itself against those who try to harm it."

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