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October 12, 2018 9:22 am

US Supports Israeli Detention of Pro-BDS Activist

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US student Lara Alqasem (C) appears at the district court in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 11, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen.

JNS.org – The United States expressed its support on Wednesday for Israel denying a University of Florida graduate from entering the Jewish state due to her pro-BDS activism.

A State Department spokesperson told AFP that Israel is free to determine who enters the country.

“As a general principle, we value freedom of expression even in cases where we don’t agree with the political views expressed and this is such a case,” State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters.

Lara Alqasem was denied entry into Israel on Oct. 2 to study for work on a master’s degree at Hebrew University in Jerusalem because of her anti-Israel advocacy as president of the University of Florida’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter. She has since been detained at Ben-Gurion International Airport as her case is ongoing.

The State Department said the US Embassy in Jerusalem has been offering consular services to Alqasem.

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