JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Jewish-American activist was denied entry into Israel because of her work with the BDS movement, despite having a valid student visa.
Ariel Gold, a 43-year-old mother of two who is active in the social justice NGO CodePink, was detained Sunday night at Ben Gurion International Airport. She wrote in a Facebook post: “I am in the Tel Aviv airport getting deported. I got a visa in advance to enter the country but they are refusing to honor it and are deporting me now.”
Gold has demonstrated against Israeli policies in Israel and the United States. Last summer she spent time in Hebron monitoring the trial of Palestinian activist Issa Amro, and she also was barred from the Western Wall after handing out political pamphlets. She was informed in writing when she last left the country that she would have to obtain a visa in order to return.
On Sunday, Gold arrived in Israel with a student visa, and said she would be studying Judaism at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, according to The Jerusalem Post.
In addition to being denied entry to the country by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Gold had her student visa canceled by Interior Minister Arye Derim, Haaretz reported.
“We prevented Ariel Gold, an extreme boycott activist, from entering the country,” Erdan tweeted. “Our policy is clear: Those who campaign towards boycotting Israel and come here in order to cause harm — won’t be allowed to enter the country. The rules have changed, and Israel will not show restraint towards those who try to hurt it.”