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The Israeli Interior Ministry is using Israel's apartheid laws to control UK and other international airlines, and to prevent anyone trying to travel openly to Palestine. From today's Haaretz (April 14, 2012):

"In the letter, which was obtained by Haaretz, Amnon Shmueli of the Interior Ministry's Population and Immigration Authority writes, "In light of statements by radical pro-Palestinian activists indicating that they intend to arrive on commercial flights from abroad, in order to disturb the peace and confront security forces at Ben Gurion International Airport and at other points of friction, it has been decided to forbid their entrance, in accordance with my authority according to the Law of Entry to Israel."

Referring to a list of names of known pro-Palestinian activists whom Israel suspects will attempt to enter the country over the weekend, which was included in the letter, Shmueli writes, "In light of the above, you are requested not to board them onto Israel-bound flights".

The letter then goes on to threaten punitive steps if the airlines fail to comply with Israeli demands. "A failure to uphold this directive is liable to lead to leveling of sanctions against the airlines."

The above claim by Shmueli and innumerable other Israeli officials is a complete invention, a claim that has not, however, been challenged by our Governments or international media. It is an inversion of the truth, the opposite of repeated statements by Welcome to Palestine 2012 organisers that travellers have no interest in demonstrating in Tel Aviv Airport, but wish to proceed as unobtrusively as possible to Bethlehem.

We ask parliamentarians internationally to insist that Israel produce a single statement of the kind it claims justify its intrusion into citizens' domestic freedom to fly out of their country, and Israel's threat of sanctions against international airlines.

Israel's laws controlling who may enter and exit Israel/Palestine, including via Tel Aviv Airport, privilege Jews and constitute apartheid, legally enforced segregation and a crime against humanity under international law. The world has ignored or even colluded in Israeli apartheid for too long, and now we see an example of Israeli apartheid laws being used to control international airlines and our own freedom to travel. Our fight henceforth is not just for Palestinian freedom, but to prevent the spread of the contamination of Israeli apartheid to our home countries.

The frequent chant that "We are all Palestinians" is not so far-fetched.

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