Israel questioning of United States journalist was mistake: Netanyahu

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 14, 2018

He has spent years writing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has publicly expressed criticism of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and supported boycotting settlement-made products.

Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which came under Israeli military occupation in 1973, are considered illegal under global law.

"[The interrogator's] definition of objectionable, however, kept changing". "Then he simply asked if I was connected to any organization -or involved in any activity- that he should be concerned about". At another he asked about groups that threaten Israeli democracy.

"He established no consistent or objective standard for my detention. His standard was whether I planned to cause trouble - trouble meaning whatever he and his superiors wanted it to mean". "He was told it was an administrative mistake".

"Prime Minister Netanyahu heard of Mr. Beinart's questioning at Ben Gurion airport and immediately spoke with Israel's security forces to inquire how this happened", the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement published on Monday. "Israel is the only country in the Middle East where people voice their opinions freely and robustly", the statement adds.

The Shin Bet internal security service apologized for causing any anguish and said it was investigating.

Liberal Jewish-American journalist Peter Beinart says he won't accept Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's apology to him for being detained and questioned about his political beliefs at an Israeli airport.

Criticizing the recent string of incidents, Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog said he had requested for the Knesset to convene a "special session for parliamentary oversight on the subject" referring to "damage to the good reputation of the state".

Reacting to the premier's intervention, Beinart tweeted that Netanyahu had "half-apologised for my detention yesterday at Ben Gurion airport". "There is no limit".

"We are being questioned exclusively about our political opinions and activities vis a vis Palestinians esp in the occupied territories", Zimmerman tweeted.

In March 2017, Israel's parliament passed a law banning the entry of supporters of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), a movement inspired by measures against South Africa before the fall of apartheid.

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