Jewish-American threatened with deportation
Jewish-American Activist from San Francisco threatened with deportation from Israel
Jamie Spector, a social worker from San Francisco has been detained at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport yesterday and is facing deportation. As a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Jamie was planning on taking part in non-violent demonstrations with Palestinians, Israelis, and other internationals against the "Apartheid Wall", the barrier Israel is building in the occupied West Bank. At least a dozen human rights advocates have been denied access to the Occupied Palestinian Territories over the past month and turned back by Israel at Ben Gurion Airport.
Spector has traveled to Israel and Palestine once before with ISM, a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian and international activists that utilizes nonviolent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies. ISM has not been declared an illegal organization in Israel, though it is becoming clear that affiliation with ISM is grounds for being refused entry into the country.
In San Francisco, Spector works with Jews for a Free Palestine, an organization dedicated to ending Israel's occupation of Palestine and the recognition of Palestinian refugee's right to return to their historic homeland. "Israel claims to be the homeland for Jews everywhere, but a Jew can't even get in the country if she takes issue with Israel's gross violation of international law; this speaks volumes about the hypocrisy of Israel's policies in the Occupied Territories and in Israel itself," said Eric Romann, Spector's friend and a fellow member of Jews for a Free Palestine.
Stephen and Annette Spector, Jamie's parents and said they fully support their daughter's actions and referred to her as "an angel of peace.”
Earlier this week, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that major portions of the barrier violate international law, saying that it was "tantamount to annexation of Palestinian land" and it "severely impeded the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination."
The Court called on Israeli officials to cease new construction of the Wall in occupied Palestine, tear down sections, and compensate Palestinians whose land it cuts across or whose interests have otherwise been harmed (New York Times and Ha'aretz, July 10, 2004).
Jamie made this statement Sunday, July 11:
"As a Jewish person, I can
understand how Israelis are concerned for their security,
given the long history of our oppression. At the same time,
this is not the whole story of the Jews. Jewish people have
fought for social justice, in the communities where we live
and in support of others. It is to this Jewish heritage that
I am most connected. As a Jewish person of conscience, I
see the illegal Apartheid Wall that is being built as a
modern Warsaw Ghetto. As a Jewish person, it is my
responsibility to do everything I can to oppose this wall,
and the unjust occupation of Palestinians. I will struggle
nonviolently alongside the thousands of Palestinians who are
nonviolently protesting everyday."