Local sources reported that the U.S. citizen Anne Robinson-Peter has been held in Ben-Gurion airport detention center for the past week, on claims of posing ‘a security risk to Israel’.
The Interior Ministry denied Robinson-Peter entry to Israel when landed last Wednesday from New York, based on a request of the security establishment.
According to the petition submitted on her behalf, the 44 year-old graphic designer, came to the country on a two-week visit for business purposes, as a graphic designer and visual artist, ‘to find partners, Israelis and Palestinians, for business and artistic projects and ventures.’
Her lawyers, Yael Barda and Shamai Leibovich, challenged the decision in Tel Aviv District Court last week, however Judge Nissim Yeshaya issued an interim order forbidding her deportation.
The judge refused to release her even under restrictive conditions therefore, Robinson-Peter is being held at the airport pending trial.
Robinson-Peter is employed by Simon and Schuster publishers and by New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
The petition also states that she arrived in the country with photography equipment and accompanied by a friend, a 79-year-old Holocaust survivor, ‘to document her journey in Israel and the territories.’ She also planned to attend the wedding of some Israeli friends.
According to the Petition, Robinson-Peter was allowed to visit Israel last summer, the petition noted, and that she ‘has no criminal record, and has many friends both Jewish and non-Jews who have ties to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) which calls for non-violent social change and for the end of an Israeli military presence in the occupied territories.’
Robinson-Peter told her lawyer, she was subject to 10 hours interrogation by the airport security as soon as she arrived into the airport.
Interrogators have pressured her to tell them names of fellow members in the movement but she refused to, said Leibovich.
Leibovich noted that as soon as his client landed at Ben-Gurion, ‘she was interrogated for 10 hours, during which she was pressured to state the names of fellow members in the organization, but she refused to do so.’
Many of her friends and her employers in the US have sent letters confirming that Robinson-Peter is a nonviolent peace-lover person without any criminal records and an artist who has no dangerous tendency and certainly none of a security nature. No one is hiding the fact that she is a left-winger or that she is a peace activist.’ said her other lawyer Barda.
Trying to justify holding Robinson-Peter, the state prosecutor said in the court hearing that ‘there is classified information concerning her.’
The petitioners counter that ‘it is easy for the security establishment to draw up black lists on which it is easy to appear but from which it is difficult to be erased.’
The Israeli authorities have denied access to several internationals accused of being ISM activists.
The ISM is a Palestinian-led nonviolent initiative that is opposing the Israeli occupation in Palestine. The ISM conducts nonviolent methods in resisting the occupation.
ISM has been targeted by the Israeli security forces. Several activists have been shot, beaten, arrested and deported. Two were killed by the Israeli army. American Rachel Corrie and British Tom Hurndall were both killed in Rafah, in the year 2003.