Nobel Mairead Maguire Court 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire was deported from Israel on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry confirmed, after boarding a flight to the UK earlier in the morning.
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On Monday evening, the Supreme Court ruled that Maguire must leave Israel, in accordance with a deportation order barring her from entering the country for the next 10 years.
Earlier in the day, the state rejected a proposal by the court to allow Maguire, from Ireland, to remain in Israel until Wednesday.
She arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on September 28 as part of a delegation organized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, which was scheduled to hold meetings in Israel and the West Bank until October 6. The organizer of the trip, Liz Bernstein, was told explicitly before the trip that Maguire would not be allowed into the country.
Nevertheless, Maguire claimed she did not know about the deportation order until she arrived here.
The government issued two orders prohibiting Maguire from entering Israel because she participated in two voyages organized by the “Free Gaza” group, aboard the MV Arion
in 2009 and the MV Rachel Corrie
in 2010, aimed at breaking the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
After being told at the airport she would not be let into the country, Maguire appealed against the deportation order to the Central District Court.
When the appeal was rejected, she appealed the lower court decision to the Supreme Court.
The state’s representative, attorney Hani Ofek, said Maguire should not have been allowed access to the courts in the first place, because she did not first go through the proper administrative channels to have the deportation order canceled, specifically the Ministry of Interior, which issued the deportation orders. It was only because she had arrived in Israel as a fait accompli that she was able to obtain a court hearing, said Ofek.
At the end of the hearing, the court allowed Maguire to speak. She said she had come to Israel at peace with her conscience.
She had not known there was a deportation order against her for 10 years and was shocked when told so by the immigration department.
Maguire said she loved the Israeli people and the Palestinians and was
saddened by the violence and conflict here. She said she had Israeli and
Palestinian friends and that she had come as a member of a group that
believed in peace and a possible solution.
She called on Israel to stop its “apartheid policy and the siege on Gaza.”
At that point, Grunis interrupted her speech and told her “this is no place for propaganda."