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WEST BANK: American journalist booted from Israel after being questioned about his views

PH2010012004627 In a case that has angered press freedom groups, Jared Malsin, the American editor of a Palestinian news agency based in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, departed Israel on Wednesday after being denied entry to the country. 

The 24-year-old journalist was put on a plane to New York after spending a week in detention and being interrogated by Israeli authorities about his "anti-Israeli" views, news reports said.

Officials insisted that Malsin, who is Jewish, had not been deported from Israel but left the country voluntarily after a court rejected his appeal for a visa, according to the Reuters news agency. They said Malsin was denied entry into the country when he refused to answer their questions at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport when returning from a holiday.

"He refused to cooperate," Sabine Hadad, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry was quoted as saying by Reuters. 

She said Malsin refused to answer questions "about his past" in the country.

Malsin's girlfriend, a U.S citizen working as a volunteer for a church group in Jerusalem, was reportedly also denied entry when she arrived at the airport last week and subsequently sent out of Israel.

During his nearly 2 1/2 years of work with the Maan news agency, a nonprofit organization supported by grants from the European Union, the United Nations and the U.S. that reports on Israel and the occupied territories, Malsin had apparently used three-month tourist visas in his stay and did not have a proper work visa. 

The technique is supposedly rather commonplace by some foreign employees in the Palestinian areas who claim to have an increasingly difficult time obtaining work visas from the Israeli authorities, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Reuters quoted an Israeli document that said Malsin was questioned after having entered the country "many times without proper visa arrangements." When the journalist said he lived in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour, officials said, they searched his name on the Internet and concluded his reporting "had a critical eye on Israel."

The document said the officials believed Malsin was "taking advantage of being Jewish in order to obtain a visa."

Malsin said he found it "outrageous" that his political views would prove such a big deal.

"They judged me to have anti-Israeli politics," he was quoted as saying by the Washington Post. "It's outrageous that would even appear in a legal argument, that a person's politics would be a relevant issue."

The International Federation of Journalists called the Malsin case "an intolerable violation of press freedom."

-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut

Photo: Jared Malsin, left, meets with U.S. Consul General Daniel Rubinstein in Bethlehem in the West Bank. Credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (9)

Doesn't Israel know that most americans would never visit it anyway?

THERE ARE A LOT OF MEDIA WHICH USE THEIR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION TO LAUNCH UNFOUNDED ACCUSATIONS AGAINST ISRAEL
FORGETTING THE MOST ELEMENTAR RULES OF ETHICS AND HONESTY
NOT SPEAKING FROM THEIR IGNORANCE.
THE SPREADING OF SUCH KIND OF BIAISED "INFORMATIONS" HAVE CAUSED AND ARE STILL CAUSING GREAT DAMAGE TO ISRAEL'S IMAGE.
INSTEAD OF ALWAYS CRITICIZING ISRAEL THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AND JOURNALIST ORGANIZATION SHOULD CONTROL MORE STRICTLY THE BEHAVIOR OF SOME OF THEIR MEMBERS.
THE LAST ARTICLE OF THE SWEDISH NEWSPAPER ACCUSING ISRAEL OF "HARVESTING " ORGANS FROM KIDNAPPED PALESTINIANS IS ONE
OF THE NUMEROUS EXAMPLES OF THOSE BIAISED INFORMATIONS.
I DIDN'T READ ANY REACTION FROM THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AGAINST IT.

This isn't even a shred of the tip of the iceberg.

Death to all religion.. WA WA WA

Now we can have news from IDF and state news apparatus for news from that part of world, just as we get it from Rupert Murdoch Israeli style Fox news and Wallstreet journal; "hear my point of view and no right to hear other views since we're self designated "democratic" and a ally of US valet, that's pathetic!

As a sovereign country, Israel has the right to determine who can and who cannot enter the country.

Many other countries refuse entry to certain people for various reasons, as is their right. When, say, the United States refuses entry to somebody, we never hear complaints.
Let this creep go into Gaza through one of the tunnels!

You have no right to be in someone else's home or country because you have an American passport. This guy is an "ugly American".

ps - i meant to say 'two-faced' and not 'two-sided' in my previous comments. pls correct that if you are going to post it. thks.

Good riddance! Next to be booted should include Reuters, CNN, and the rest of the world's two-sided Jew hating media.


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