Rachel Corrie 311.
(photo credit: IDF)
The state said on Sunday that 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire
“took the law into her own hands” when she flew to Israel last week, after
having been told she would not be allowed into the country because of
deportation orders against her that are in effect until 2020.
assertion came in the state’s response to an appeal by Maguire to the Supreme
Court against a lower court decision handed down on Friday, rejecting her first
appeal against the deportation orders.
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The court will convene on Monday
to hear the case and is expected to reach a verdict soon afterward.
appellant chose to ignore the prohibition imposed on her from entering Israel in
accordance with the deportation orders issued against her, and also chose to
ignore two letters sent to the organizer of the delegation [of which Maguire was
a member] by Foreign Ministry officials making it clear beyond a doubt that her
entry to Israel would be refused,” wrote the state’s representative, attorney
“Instead, the appellant decided to take the law into her own
hands and establish facts on the ground by showing up at Ben-Gurion
International Airport, apparently thinking that such an act would give her an
advantage and lead to her being allowed to enter Israel, contrary to the law and
the deportation orders against her.”
The first deportation order against
Maguire was issued on September 30, 2009, after she participated in the voyage
of the Arion
, a vessel operated by “Free Gaza” that was trying to break the
Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. The order was to be in force for 10
In June 2010, a few days after the incident in which Israeli
commandos stopped the Mavi Marmara
on its way to Gaza, Maguire participated in
the voyage of the MV Rachel Corrie
, which also tried to break the blockade. She
was brought to Israel and issued another deportation order, this one in effect
Despite these orders, Maguire intended to co-lead a
delegation organized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative to Israel and the West Bank
from September 28 to October 6. In February, the organizer of the delegation,
Liz Bernstein, informed the government of the planned trip and expressed concern
that Maguire would not be allowed to enter the country.
Ministry official made it clear that Bernstein was right.
had deliberately chosen to take part in an illegal clash with Israeli
authorities when she decided to embark on the so-called ‘Free Gaza’ boat,” the
Foreign Ministry wrote. “The expedition had nothing to do with human rights or
humanitarian assistance. Rather, it reinforced the iron grip on Gaza by
“By disregarding international agreements between Israel and the
Palestinian Authority, which confer on Israel the responsibility to secure Gaza
waters, and by attempting to ram their way through to terrorist-occupied Gaza...
The boat’s crew have infringed on Israeli and international law. This
unfortunate, self-imposed situation now makes it impossible for us to intervene
in favor of changing Ms. Maguire’s legal position in the eyes of Israeli
In July, after the second incident involving the Rachel Corrie
Bernstein again asked the Foreign Ministry to help obtain an entry visa for
Maguire. Once again, the ministry refused.
Maguire arrived at Ben-Gurion
on September 28 and was immediately barred from entering the country. However,
she refused to leave on the next flight and sat down in front of the gangway to
The case came before the Supreme Court, which ordered the
Central District Court to hear her appeal against the deportation. On Thursday,
the court rejected her appeal.
However, before Maguire could be deported,
she appealed to the Supreme Court against the lower court ruling. In the
meantime, she has been held in a special lockup for people who have entered the
country illegally and are due to be expelled.
Maguire is represented in
her fight to overturn the deportation orders by the Haifa-based Adalah – The
Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.