Editorial: The disingenuous Nobel laureate

Israel can and must use its sovereignty to stop people like Maguire who are essentially seeking to endanger the lives of Israeli citizens.

The state wants Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire ejected from Israel.
After permitting Maguire ample opportunity to make her case, the Central District Court ruled last week in the state’s favor and the Supreme Court on Monday appeared poised to do the same.
We applaud this stand – and not because of Maguire’s outrageous comparison in 2004 of Israel’s purported nuclear capability to Auschwitz’s gas chambers, nor because of her absurd, reprehensible accusation made in court Monday that Israel is an “apartheid state” perpetrating “ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.”
Rather, Maguire should be deported from Israel for undertaking actions that undermine Israel’s ability to protect itself.
MAGUIRE, WHO at 32 was the youngest-ever peace prize winner when she received it in 1976 for working to end sectarian violence in her native Northern Ireland, was intending to lead a delegation called the Nobel Women’s Initiative that is visiting Israel and the West Bank between September 28 and October 5.
Maguire is a woman with considerable merits who once acted courageously and peacefully to help end conflict in her own country. But her actions on behalf of Palestinians has revealed a sorrowful dearth of moral sensibilities.
She was first deported from Israel on September 30, 2009, after she took part in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. She and the other activists from the Free Gaza Movement attempted to forcibly prevent Israel from defending itself against Hamas-controlled Gaza via the blockade, which has never prevented the transferral of food, medicine and other necessities that cannot be turned into rockets, mortars or other deadly weapons and aimed at Israeli civilians.
All humanitarian aid on board Maguire’s ship, the Arion, was promptly transferred to Gaza after a security check, as is all other humanitarian aid provided by foreigners to Gaza’s residents, along with truckloads of Israeli aid provided weekly.
When the Arion was stopped by the IDF, Maguire was notified that she would be forbidden to enter Israel for 10 years. Nevertheless, this June, a few days after the fateful Mavi Marmara interception, Maguire was once again on board a ship – the MV Rachel Corrie – attempting to violate Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Once again she was notified by Israeli officials that she was banned from entry for a decade.
Yet last week Maguire ignored Israel’s sovereign right to decide who crosses its borders, insincerely claiming she did not know she was banned; she might have had the honesty to make plain that she refused to respect Israel’s sovereignty.
If Maguire and her fellow activists truly desire to improve the lives of Gazans, they should send their humanitarian aid in coordination with Israel. More importantly, they should put pressure on Hamas and the other radical Islamists who control the Gaza Strip to stop senseless ballistic attacks on Israeli towns and villages, kibbutzim and moshavim.
They should also insist that Hamas provide Gaza’s citizens with a stable, responsible leadership that respects human rights and religious freedom, as well as that it accept the UN-recognized right of the Jewish people to self-determination and political sovereignty in their historical homeland.
But Maguire, who has called for Israel to be removed from the UN, seems more intent on enabling Israel’s terrorist enemies.
THIS NEWSPAPER has argued in the past that even the most rabid critics of Israel – such as Noam Chomsky, who was denied entry by Israel in May – should be allowed to come here to voice their opinions. We trust the ability of free-thinking, informed individuals to distinguish between baseless and credible narratives and claims.
But in Maguire’s case, the issue is different. Those who work to forcibly break the blockade on Gaza are essentially seeking to endanger the lives of Israeli citizens, by making it easier for Hamas to obtain the rockets and mortars it insistently fires into our territory.
Israel can and must use its hard-earned and well-deserved sovereignty to stop people like Maguire – people who try to exploit charges of a “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza in order to empower Hamas terrorists.