Lara Alqasem and Israel’s Crackdown on Critics
Oct 16 2018
These past two weeks, the world has watched as the Israeli government has detained and sought to deport Lara Alqasem, a 22-year old American student with a valid visa who had planned to pursue graduate studies at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.
By denying entry to Alqasem on the basis of her alleged past support for the Global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement — a charge made even more ridiculous by the fact that Alqasem says she does not support BDS, evidenced by the fact that she wants to study at an Israeli university — the Netanyahu government is continuing its disturbing pattern of attempting to stem the free flow of ideas into Israel, intimidate critics and crack down on nonviolent dissent.
Even as the faculty and students of Hebrew University — along with a growing coalition of allies here in the US and around the world — have voiced their support for Alqasem, the Israeli government has so far declined to reverse the decision.
Last Friday, the Tel Aviv District Court rejected Alqasem’s appeal of the government’s decision to deport her back to the US. On Wednesday of this week, Israel’s Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear her appeal.
This situation is unfolding rapidly, with major implications for the state of Israel’s democracy, society and standing in the world.
We’ll be joined by Alqasem’s attorney, Leora Bechor, and Member of Knesset Tamar Zandberg, leader of the Meretz party.
J Street is holding this important briefing in conjunction with Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, National Council of Jewish Women, New Israel Fund, Partners for a Progressive Israel and T’ruah.
Questions for the speakers can be submitted via Facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The archived video will also be available for later-viewing on our website.