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Israel to Deport American Student for Boycott Activity

October 5, 2018

An American student is expected to be deported from Israel for backing the boycott movement against the nation, Haaretz reported Thursday.

Lara Alqasem received a student visa at Israel's consulate in Miami to study for a master’s degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. But despite receiving the visa, Alqasem, who has Palestinian grandparents, was denied entry upon arrival in Israel Tuesday. An administrative appeals tribunal on Thursday denied her appeal to stay in the country.

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs cited Alqasem’s "consistent activity against Israel, according to Amendment 28 to the Entry to Israel Law," which bars the entry of foreign nationals who support or participate in boycotts of Israel. The ministry cited leadership positions it said Alqasem held in the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at the University of Florida.

Israel's Population, Immigration and Border Authority described the prior decision to grant the student visa to Alqasem in Miami as reflecting a "lack of coordination." A lawyer for Alqasem said that upon arriving in Israel she was shown a picture of herself from the controversial website Canary Mission, which publishes profiles of students and professors it accuses of anti-Israel activism, and asked about her ethnicity and the names of her father and grandfather.

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Elizabeth Redden

Elizabeth Redden, Senior Reporter, covers general higher education topics, religion and higher education, and international higher education for Inside Higher Ed. She has more than a decade of experience as an education journalist. She holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

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