This Sunday, a group of 1500 participants of ‘Welcome to Palestine’ fly-in protest planned on flying to Tel-Aviv in an act of solidarity with the Palestinians in the West Bank. Their plan, as reported by them online, was to protest against the so called segregation and inequality, and to help repair broken buildings, plant trees, etc. They were all civilized people from several countries in Europe. They were probably unarmed, and had no plans to commit terror activities. All they wanted was to land in Tel-Aviv, travel freely to the West Bank, which is officially not a part of Israel, and recognize the state of Palestine, which does not exist.
****FYI, this state could have existed today if in 1948, the Arabs who lived here would have agreed to the UN proposal for two states. Yes, this offer was valid back then, but they chose to decline, because they wanted the entire territory for themselves. So no, no one over there wanted two states****
After requesting several times to the activists to not show up, the state of Israel decided to not allow those activists to enter for the purpose of participating in an activity against the country. Official letters were sent to the airlines, requesting them to cancel the flights. Most flights were, indeed, cancelled. On the flights that did take off, a letter from Israel awaited the passengers, with a sarcastic note. In the letter, Israel “thanks” the pro-Palestine activists who chose Israel for their battle for human rights, then redirected them to Israel’s tyrannical neighbors. It was signed with the sentence: “we therefore suggest that you first solve the real problems of the region, and then come back and share with us your experience.” The letter might have been sarcastic, but held so much truth. As I mentioned many times before, we are the only Democracy in the area. We are surrounded by states ruled by tyrants who stripped their citizens of their human rights. Poverty and famine are everywhere. In some places, people are being brutally butchered on a daily basis. In the only democracy in the Middle East, ALL CITIZENS ARE EQUAL BY LAW, such as in any other Democracy. Not all people respect the law, just like in any other Democracy, but those people are law breakers.
Eventually, from those who did land in Ben- Gurion airport, a few were allowed to enter, after questioning, while others, as promised, were sent back to their homelands. When interviewed, representatives of the activists said that Israel prevents the freedom of speech, and that they were treated like they are terrorists, while they are merely “women, elders and the handicapped” (quoted from a newspaper). I understand those who think Israel should have let them in, but I also believe that each country has its own right to not allow people in with the intention of disorder. Israel has the right to choose not to be a friendly host to people who are against it, and who want to assist those who are looking to harm it, whether by using violence, or by raising signs and causing chaos. As an Israeli, I am obligated to obtain a tourist visa in order to enter the United States. The immigration teller in the U.S Embassy can easily decide if I look like a terrorist, or that I seem like a person who has intentions of harming the country, or even that I don’t have a strong enough connection to Israel and may stay longer than I stated - and may simply deny my request. The United States has the right to not trust some people and to not allow them in. Israel has the same right.
I am all in favor of human rights organizations, I really am. Sadly, in the 21st century, there are some places on this planet where human rights are severely violated. I encourage those passionate activists with warm, kind hearts to go to one of those places, and help make the world a better place. Activists, I really believe in your primary goal, just don’t waste your strength here. You are fighting windmills here and you will be all worn out without saving those who really need a rescue.