Yesterday, artist and left-wing activist Dror Feiler, mostly recently known for his exploits in the Gaza flotilla incident and his cruise companion Mehmet Kaplan, a member of the Green Party in Sweden, tried to force their entry into Israel, counter to an agreement with Israeli authorities.
Border control officers at Ben Gurion airport notified airport Immigration Authority representatives, who informed them that their entry had been refused .Feiler and Kaplan had travelled to Israel in order to ”leave a police report concerning what happened during the Ship to Gaza [flotilla] in May”. More specifically, they wanted to charge the army with kidnapping, robbery, obstruction of freedom and violence.
Once the pair reached Ben Gurion airport, however, they were stopped. The simple explanation for this is that after their participation in the illegal Ship to Gaza cruise, they had to sign a statement agreeing that they would have to apply for permission if they ever wanted to visit Israel again in the future. This was noted by Sabine Hadad, spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior in Israel.
Hadad also commented that both Kaplan as well as Feiler were well aware of this. She stated to French news agency AFP: ”All of the passengers on the six ships in the IHH flotilla signed an agreement to request proper authorization from Israeli embassies in their native countries before trying to enter Israel.” Participants were barred from entering Israel for 10 years. So, travelling to Israel without requesting permission to enter the country was a violation of the restrictions they agreed to; given the illegal nature of their activities on Ship to Gaza.
[As readers may recall, the Ship to Gaza flotilla brought a token cargo of aid on several small boats, including mostly expired or useless medicine and damaged equipment, which the Israeli authorities delivered via trucks to Gaza. The flotilla did, however, bring a large contingent of hostile IHH jihadists looking for martyrdom and supporters such as the Swedish MP Kaplan—as the sole cargo of the Mavi Marmara.]
It should be noted that despite Feiler’s sentimental claims that he has rights to enter Israel because of family ties, etc., he has completely renounced his citizenship, and is therefore a foreign national for purposes of entry.
In addition, the Israeli ambassador in Sweden sent out a press release before Feiler & Kaplan’s arrival in Israel stating that the trip was ”a provocation with the sole purpose of seeking confrontation”.
One would think MP Mehmet Kaplan would be busy working in the Swedish parliament, after the recent elections in Sweden. One can only hope that it was not the Swedish tax payers who paid for this needless ”provocation vacation” trip to the Middle East.