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Israeli Judge Upholds Deportation of USA Activist


Israeli Judge Upholds Deportation Order of American Peace Activist

Judge Upholds Deportation Order of American Peace Activist Ann Petter

Based on Previous Participation in Anti-Wall March

Petter to Appeal Decision to the Israeli Supreme Court

[Tel Aviv] Tel Aviv District Court Judge upheld the Ministry of Interior's deportation order of American peace activist Ann Petter. Judge Mudrik accepted the Ministry of Interior's argument that Petter should be barred from entering Israel because of her participation in a peace march last year organized by the International Solidarity Movement, which is a Palestinian-led movement working for Palestinian freedom and an end to the Israeli occupation. Judge Mudrik held that the case did not warrant the Court's intervention in the decision of the State.

Judge Mudrik stated that it is common practice in Israeli legal proceedings for the State to disclose secret evidence to a judge without the defendant or the defense attorneys having the right to view the evidence and contest it. On this basis, Mudrik asserted that the Israeli authorities lawfully denied Petter entry into Israel and that the defendant did nothing to contradict the allegations against her. Petter's attorneys point to the contradiction inherent in this common practice which penalizes a defendant for not contradicting evidence against her - evidence that she is not allowed to see or know the content of.

Petter's attorneys intend to appeal today's decision to the Israeli Supreme Court. They requested to stay the deportation order for the duration of the appeal proceedings to provide Petter the opportunity to represent herself during the appeal. Judge Mudrik has deferred the decision regarding Petter's immediate deportation to the Supreme Court.

Petter is a 44-year old graphic designer from New York who arrived in Israel with a video camera; she intended to document the work of Palestinian, Israeli, and international peace activists, one of whom is 79-year old Holocaust survivor, Hedy Epstein. Petter’s attorneys, Yael Berda and Shamai Leibovitz, stated that with these intentions, Petter does not pose a security threat to the State of Israel as alleged by the prosecution, but rather poses only a public relations threat.

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