behind-bars1.jpg[Update 14 July: both have been released after a court hearing, the only two out of hundreds of activists. Info.]
It is not too hard to be cynical about the detention of two Australia women ‘of a certain Age’ at Ben Gurion airport by the Israeli authorities. They are to ‘be made an example of’. See Report.
Both had expressed their intention to visit the Occupied Territories. Both have also participated in the Gaza flotilla.
One of them, Viv Porszolt is well known on the left and in the Jewish community in NSW for her views, some of which I don’t agree with, particularly on the BDS issue (she was also silenced from presenting at the recent Limmud Oz conference in Sydney). The other is Sylvia Hale, a former NSW Green parliamentarian.
It is hard to see them as terrorists in the making or violent supporters of Palestinians.
It is a foolish move of the Israeli government to piss off even more people in such a manner, though it might make for smug satisfaction in certain circles. And is only make for more extreme viewpoints about the capacity of Israel to come to an accommodation with Palestine.
And now, even the Anti Defamation League in the US considers the new restrictions on boycott activity a threat to free speech. Foxman said that Israel “has a long history of vigorous opposition to any and all boycotts of Israel”, the recently passed law runs counter to the league’s belief in the importance of democratic ideals. ” [http://tiny.cc/c5mlb]