Friday, January 29, 2010

Left-wing Jewish-American anti-fascist deported from Israel proves only Judeofascists need apply for aliyah

An annoyance, not a threat
(Haaretz) -- By James Kirchick --

Reading about Israel's deportation last week of Jared Malsin, an editor for the Palestinian Ma'an news agency, I'm not surprised that his relatively short journalistic career has reached this impasse. Malsin and I were students at Yale University, where both of us were columnists for the Yale Daily News. He was an outspoken activist for leftist causes, ranging from support for the school's intransigent unions to opposition to the war in Iraq; I defended the university and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. There was hardly an issue on which we agreed. But it was with his criticism of Israel that Malsin, like so many left-wing American Jews, made his mark.

I don't remember the specifics of his involvement with anti-Israel activities on campus, which included protesting Israeli policies and debating them at the Yale Political Union, but then, as now, he used his Jewishness to portray his views as being more meaningful than those of any gentile agitator ("Who if not the Jews should express their opinions and feelings about Israel?" he told YNet last week).

So when I heard, several years ago, that Malsin had taken advantage of a Birthright trip to get a free ticket to Israel, I groaned. He then used a series of three-month tourist visas to remain over the past two and half years. When detained by immigration officers at Ben-Gurion Airport last week, he said he was considering aliyah, according to an Interior Ministry official interviewed by The Washington Post.

Despite Malsin's attempt to game the system, he did nothing illegal. And despite the government's denials, it appears that it was the tone of his journalism that prompted his forced exile. "They judged me to have anti-Israeli politics," Malsin told the Post. "It's outrageous that would even appear in a legal argument, that a person's politics would be a relevant issue."

Although it pains me to agree with Malsin, he's right: His treatment at the hands of Israeli authorities was outrageous. One expects this type of behavior from Middle Eastern police states, whose systematic human rights abuses Malsin and his left-wing compatriots downplay or ignore - not from the region's sole functioning democracy...MORE...LINK

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