Israeli comedian leaves US after being questioned by ICE over tweet

He had tweeted about his wife's arrival in the US and how they could expect to have an American citizen born to them soon.

ICE agents make drug bust in Arizona desert (photo credit: JEFF TOPPING/REUTERS)
ICE agents make drug bust in Arizona desert
(photo credit: JEFF TOPPING/REUTERS)

Israeli comedian Guy Hochman and his pregnant wife left the United States after a tweet of his was reported to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by a Haaretz journalist earlier this week.

In the tweet, Hochman discusses how his seventh-grade English teacher told him he would never master English, but now he is performing in Miami, although not in English. He goes on to thank those who helped organize the event before finally adding: "Blessings for my pregnant wife that is coming to stay with me here, five months until an American citizen will be born to us."

The tweet was called out by Haaretz journalist Chaim Levinson, saying: "Guy Hochman really drags his pregnant wife to give birth in America so that the child gets citizenship and then preaches to the whole world and his wife about patriotism from Miami?"

Hochman responded by saying "Someone travels for a week to perform for dear Israelis in the US and the journalist who previously beat up IDF soldiers throws a tantrum."

Twitter argument escalates 

Five hours later, Levinson tweeted "I updated the immigration police on Guy Hochman's intention to stay in the US so that his wife would give birth there and the child would become a citizen. We won't let this ugly Israeli give a bad name to millions of good citizens. Feel free to fill in as well."

The bottom of the tweet contained a link to the ICE tip form.

Three hours after the tip-off, Another Twitter user relaying Hochman's words said: "Listen, remember the post about Miami where I joked that if we stay here a little longer then we would give birth to an American citizen? So Haaretz reporter Chaim Levinson took it seriously and simply tipped off the American authorities to arrest me and even called on his followers to report me. Now I'm in the airport and they're starting to ask questions. What a crazy man!"

On May 5, a day after ICE was initially tipped-off, Guy Hochman and his wife landed in Tel Aviv. Hochman tweeted asking Levinson to report that they were smuggling a fetus back into the country. 

It was unclear whether Hochman was formally deported or unofficially asked to leave.