Israel Briefs: Court Allows Pro-BDS US Grad Student to Enter Israel and More

Israel Supreme Court building
Israel Supreme Court building (Israel Supreme Court.jpg by israeltourism licensed under CC BY 2.0)

Court Allows Pro-BDS US Grad Student to Enter Israel Despite Initial Rejection

Israel’s Supreme Court granted pro-BDS graduate student Lara Alqasem’s entry into the country after she initially was denied, reported.

“Since the appellant’s actions do not raise satisfactory cause to bar her to entry to Israel, the inevitable impression is that invalidating the visa given to her was due to the political opinions she holds,” the court said in its Oct. 18 verdict. “If this is truly the case, then we are talking about an extreme and dangerous step, which could lead to the crumbling of the pillars upon which democracy in Israel stands.”

Alqasem — who had a valid student visa — was detained at Ben Gurion Airport on Oct. 2, then appealed the decision.

A University of Florida graduate, Alqasem, who has Palestinian grandparents, received a student visa from the Consulate General of Israel in Miami to study in a master’s program in human rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While at Florida in 2016-17, she served as president of the BDS-supporting Students for Justice in Palestine.

Her father Rafiq Alqasem, a lecturer at his daughter’s alma mater, is a staunch supporter of BDS and Students for Justice in Palestine, reported.

Kan Can Now Broadcast World Cup Soccer Preliminary Matches

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corp. (known as Kan) will now be able to air both World Cup and Euro 2020 soccer tournament preliminary games, including in the West Bank, JTA reported.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) reversed its decision prohibiting Kan from airing the games in West Bank settlements. Kan broadcasts its programming to the West Bank through regular media airwaves, satellite and cable television providers.

Kan bid about $5.8 million to win the broadcast rights, but couldn’t sign the contract because of a requirement that it only air the games within Israel’s 1967 borders, which exclude the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

Jordan Won’t Renew Portion of Peace Treaty After 25-Year Leases Expire

Jordan’s King Abdullah said two annexes from a 1994 treaty that allow Israel to lease two border area won’t be renewed when the 25-year leases expires in 2019, JTA reported.

“Baqoura and Ghumar have always been our top priority and our decision is to terminate the Baqoura and Ghumar annexes from the peace treaty out of our keenness to take all decisions that would serve Jordan and Jordanians,” Abdullah tweeted.

Baqura (Naharayim in Hebrew) is located south of the Sea of Galilee, and Ghumar (Zofar in Hebrew) is south of the Dead Sea.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will try to negotiate an extension to the lease.

Gay American Student Sues Jerusalem Pizzeria After Service Refused

American rabbinical student Sammy Kanter has sued a Jerusalem pizzeria, alleging that he was refused service because of his sexual orientation, JTA reported.

Kanter, who is studying at Hebrew Union College, said he was wearing a gay pride T-shirt in early August when he entered the Ben Yehudah 2 pizzeria, but an employee ordered him out.

Kanter’s suit seeks 33,500 shekels, or about $9,100. The case is scheduled to be heard in January. 


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