Maguire deportation appeal rejected

Tue, Oct 5, 2010, 01:00

THE ISRAELI supreme court yesterday rejected an appeal by Mairead Maguire against her deportation from Israel.

During the hearing an Israeli supreme court judge told Ms Maguire to keep “her propaganda to herself” after she called Israel an “apartheid state”.

Ms Maguire (66) urged Israel to end its “apartheid policy” against the Palestinians and end the siege on Gaza, but she was silenced by one of the judges who told her that the courtroom was no place for propaganda.

The justices told the Nobel peace laureate that they did not believe her claim that she was unaware that Israel has placed a 10-year ban on her entering the country. Ms Maguire has been held at a detention facility at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv since last Tuesday, when she flew in as a part of a women’s peace delegation to attend a conference along with five other Nobel peace laureates.

Prosecution lawyers rejected a court-proposed compromise under which Ms Maguire would be allowed to join the peace delegation for two days and then leave the country.

Ms Maguire had been aboard the Rachel Corrie, which was intercepted by Israeli naval commandos in June and escorted to the port of Ashdod. She was deported after being held for two days. The incident took place five days after nine Turkish activists were killed in clashes when Israeli soldiers boarded the Mavi Marmara, one of the boats in an international aid flotilla to Gaza.

According to the Israeli authorities Ms Maguire signed a document before she was deported in June stating that she was banned from entering Israel for 10 years.

But her lawyer, Orna Cohen, claimed that after the activists aboard the Rachel Corrie were taken to Ashdod, it was agreed that a permanent order barring their entry to Israel would not be issued. She said no such order was presented to her client when she arrived in Israel and she was informed by the Israeli airport authorities that the order appears on the airport’s computer system.