Tuesday, November 10, 2009

US demands answers about illegal student's deportation

While this is apparently big news in the US, hardly anyone knows about this issue in Israel.

CNN reported last week that 21 year old Gazan college student, Berlanty Azzam, was apprehended at an IDF checkpoint between Ramallah and Bethlehem.

She said she was held at the checkpoint for five hours with no explanation, and then blindfolded, handcuffed and put into a military vehicle.

Well, perhaps if she was in the West Bank legally, she might have been treated slightly differently. This is one of the more common ways Israel finds terrorists. The method works.

"I did not know what they were going to do with me or where they were taking me," Azzam said in a interview.

Of course she knew was happening - she was here illegally, she never applied for permission to stay.

As it turns out, Azzam was being removed from the Palestinian West Bank and brought to the Gaza Strip. She called the experience "frightening and dehumanizing."

Yes, Gaza's a frightening place. I wouldn't want to be brought there. Oh, her family lives there? Does she know that Hamas and Fatah terrorists are students too? Does she live in a vacuum and think this is Disneyland?

The Israeli military released a statement saying Azzam was "residing illegally" in the West Bank and had overstayed a permit "allowing her to stay in Jerusalem for a few days in August 2005."

OK, so she was granted permission for a few days to be here 4 years ago, she broke the law, stayed here illegally, and now expects that the United States will bail her out?

The same United States that routinely deports illegal Mexican migrants?

Breitbart notes that: The United States deported more than 154,000 Mexicans and Central Americans in the 2008 fiscal year, in a 46 percent rise on the previous year, an official statement said here Thursday.

What?! The United States of America that deports tens of thousands of illegals, is criticizing Israel?

The same United States that blindfolds, handcuffs and deports illegals?
Immigration lawyers complain that their clients have been moved frequently among INS facilities and often have been difficult for the lawyers to find. Some detainees have been handcuffed, blindfolded and forced to take lie-detector tests, the lawyers say. A few, their lawyers say, have been asked to be informants and offered immediate release if they agree.
She was here illegally, she never applied for permission to stay.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for the Israeli government, said he was not aware of any policy to remove Palestinians from the West Bank to Gaza and said that in the past there have been concerns about Hamas using access to the West Bank as a way of placing their activists in universities.

CNN ends it with:

Officials at Bethlehem University said they were worried that Azzam's case could set a precedent for the removal of more of their students who come from Gaza and questioned why it was a problem to allow her to finish her studies.

"She has been here [illegally] since 2005," said Brother Jack Curran, a vice-president at the Vatican-sponsored university. "Name one security concern that she has been involved in."

"It's really not about political posturing," he said. "It's about a young woman's life and her dream and her goal for her university education [illegally]."

Did I mention she was here illegally, she never applied for permission to stay?

For the USA to "demand answers" from Israel over something the US routinely does, is simply the height of hypocrisy.

Perhaps Berlanty Azzam should grow up, officially request permission to study and stay like everyone else, before she goes off crying about her "deportation."

Its called -- the law. Try and follow it sometime,s and maybe the results will be different.

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Neshama said...

Did Ms Azzam telephone her comrade in the white house for assistance? So they now "demand answers". Well, didn't that big mouth in Boston do the same? He called "his friend". And, 'Dr' Hassam was a "contributor" to the presidency-to-be efforts, so I guess we shouldn't jump to conclusions, as the Pres has cautioned us.

Is Obama's blackberry # the one to call if ANY muslim/arab gets into trouble?!

realRightWinger said...

What was she studying - bomb making 101 ?

D.C. said...

Is it, in fact, a given that had she applied for a permit to study at Bethlehem University, it would have been granted (assuming that a background check did not identify her as a security risk)?

Whether or not I have sympathy for her attempt to do so illegally largely depends on the answer to this question.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

DC: We will never know, since she didn't apply for a permit.

If she were denied, there's no telling we we would ever know if it was a security reason, or something else.

However, why are you blaming Israel for her predicament as a Gazan?

Had she illegally entered any foreign country, and illegally studied there, why should she be eligible to stay and graduate?

Mo-ha-med said...

The West Bank is not a foreign country. She's a Palestinian and was living in Palestinian territory - whether she came from Gaza or from Ramallah should be completely irrelevant. That a foreign occupation force and its military regulations would decide that she's not allowed to exit her town and move to another town is ludicrous. I'm actually quite surprised that you're taking the "illegally" argument, flimsy as it is.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Mo-ha-med: If Gaza and West Bank are "the same", then Israel should place a fierce economic boycott (and worse) on the West Bank in response for the ongoing Kassam rockets hitting Israel and the capture and kidnapping of Gilad

I'm surprised at you: Gaza was Egyprian prior to 1967, and the West Bank was controlled by Jordan. The 2 had absolutely nothing to do with each, and are fictionally connected through the efforts of the "Palestinian Nationalism" movement.

D.C. said...


Where in my comment did I blame Israel for anything?

I was taking issue with the tone of your last two paragraphs. As I understand it, residents of the Gaza Strip who would like to study in university do not currently have access to the educational opportunities to which I believe all people should be entitled. Since you asked, I happen to believe that the moral responsibility for creating that situation lies with Hamas.

It may very well be that Israel is entirely justified in deporting her. I don't have a security background, so I'm not in the business of second-guessing the policies of the security forces, and I assure you that I have no interest in bringing more Hamas terrorists to Bethlehem, just down the road from me.

However, this doesn't stop me from being saddened by the situation and understanding of an innocent person who would break the law in pursuit of educational opportunities that are not available to her legally. I was taking issue with your hostile attitude toward her, not trying to make a political statement.

As a parable: One can -- and should -- be saddened by the plight of the innocent mamzer, without thinking, chas veshalom, that the Torah's laws are wrong.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

However, this doesn't stop me from being saddened by the situation and understanding of an innocent person who would break the law in pursuit of educational opportunities that are not available to her legally. I was taking issue with your hostile attitude toward her, not trying to make a political statement.

My attitude towards her stems from her position blaming Israel

"The IDF arrested and deported me"

Well, she shouldnt have been *surprised*...honestly, what did she expect?

Had she applied to permission to study, and been denied because of bueracratic nonsense, then yes, that would be cause to be annoyed -- and thats something that even I would make an issue over.

Her blaming Israel for her situation (and getting the US government to intercede on her behalf) is much more annoying than if she had applied and been rejected and THEN been deported.

However, she intentionally and deliberately broke the law, hoped she wouldnt get caught -- and then when she was caught, she maligned Israel instead of taking any responsibility for her predicament.

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