Gideon Levy

Deport Me, Too

Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch's Israel and Palestine Director, is seen on the mobile phone of a member of the media before his hearing at Israel's Supreme Court in Jerusalem, on September 24, 2019. 
\ AMMAR AWAD/ REUTERS

If Omar Shakir deserves to be deported, then so do I and others like me. Shakir is being expelled for his views. But his views are my views exactly, even though we’ve never met. If they are forbidden and dangerous, then everyone who advocates them must be deported.

Therefore, it is obligatory to deport everyone who holds those positions that were prohibited Tuesday by the Supreme Court, sitting as the State of Israel’s Court of Thought Control.

But let’s not get carried away: That was the intention of those who legislated the BDS law, the propagandists of the Strategic Affairs Ministry and right-wing NGOs, with the support of the High Court of Justice, which gave the law its imprimatur.

Today it’s foreigners, tomorrow it will be Israelis. Because what’s the difference? If an opinion is dangerous, it should be forbidden to all. We’ll start with foreigners, go on to deporting Arab citizens who support a boycott, and we’ll finish off with the leftists. We’ll start with those who support sanctions against Israel, continue with those who oppose the occupation and finish with those who dare to criticize Israel.

The court gave a clear green light to this inevitable slippery slope. What else will enlightened Justices Neal Hendel, Noam Sohlberg and Yael Willner, who approved Shakir’s deportation without finding any fault with him, say about deporting an Israeli Arab who calls for a boycott, after a relevant amendment is made to the law?

There will already be a precedent for deporting a person because of his views, approved by the Supreme Court. which paved the way for continuing this destructiveness and silencing, until there will be no one left to stop this Erdanism.

We’ll have to remember this about the court down the road. Continue to be impressed by it, to fight for its independence and existence, so you, its devotees, can feel enlightened in your own eyes.

The court can explain this discrimination between Shakir and myself by citing the advantage a citizen has over a foreign national. Amendment 27 to the Entry to Israel Law states that a visa will not be granted to a person who isn’t an Israeli citizen who has issued a call to boycott Israel.

Jewish Israelis are safe. For now. But there’s no logic to this discrimination. Now that the reins have been loosened, it will be possible to broaden the law’s wingspan to cover anyone who calls for a boycott, regardless of ethnic background or nationality. Deport us too. A majority of the people would support this, and what is democracy if not realizing the will of the majority?

It’s forbidden to oppose the occupation; from now that will also be the law.

It cannot be opposed by force; it cannot be opposed by any deed. One will only be allowed to whisper faintly against it until further notice. Shakir, like all people of conscience in Israel and around the world, thinks the occupation is criminal and that it is one’s duty to act against it.

After 52 years in which it has become consolidated and reinforced, the time has come for action, of the type that was effective in eliminating the last apartheid regime, the one in South Africa. Then no one dared to criminalize boycotts and sanctions; they were a source of global pride.

Now half the world has criminalized BDS. Such is the incredible power of the blackmail machine working in the service of Zionist propaganda.

Still, I have a few questions for the Supreme Court justices that they have never answered:

Is the occupation, which no nation in the world recognizes, and which no international institution has ever defined as anything other than an endless series of violations of international law, legal in your eyes? If not, is one permitted to work against it? If so, how?

Do your honors believe that the occupation will collapse on its own, just like that; that Israelis will wake up one morning and say, “Oops, we made a mistake. What we’ve been doing isn’t nice”? If not, what will bring about its end? Do you not have some role in upholding the law in an area where Israel is committing more crimes than in any other realm?

Is it permitted to call for a boycott on products because their source is illegal or immoral? Is it permitted to trade in stolen goods produced through theft, exploitation and disinheritance? Also, if Shakir’s expulsion is valid from your perspective, would you allow the deportation of Israelis because of their views? What would you call the regime here then? And what would you call your court?

Honorable justices, what do you say?