In an interview with Ma’an News, a Palestinian news service, Ariel Gold, a Jewish American Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activist and self-proclaimed pacifist, was invited to “continue to fight back against Israel.”
Israeli officials barred Gold from entering the country last Sunday after landing at Ben Gurion International Airport, due to her anti-Israel activism.
On Thursday, Gold, at home in Ithaca New York, was interviewed by a Ma’an News reporter located in “Bethlehem, Palestine.” Throughout the interview, Gold made several anti-Israel statements. Proclaiming Judea and Samaria as “stolen land,” Gold objected to the US Embassy’s move to Jerusalem; referring to both President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as “racist.” She claimed the embassy move as part of the “theft of Palestinian land which has been going on for 70 years.” Gold also referred to the Palestinians as her “extended family.”
It is interesting to note that the article was headlined with a quote attributed to Gold, “We need to continue to fight back,” implying that Gold was dedicated to fighting against Israel. Gold said several times that she would “continue to work” but did not, in fact, say the phrase, “fight back” at any point in the interview.
Gold is barred from visiting Israel but tried to return through a loophole. After visiting the country in 2017, Gold was told that due to her anti-Israel activities, she would not be permitted into the country again without approval from the Israeli administration. Gold enrolled in a course at Hebrew University and was granted a one-year student visa by the Israeli Consulate in New York City.
When she arrived on Sunday, she was detained by officials at the airport. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who petitioned Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to have her visa canceled, said she had been denied entry because of her support for the BDS movement.
“Gold distributed videos on social networks, in which she harasses IDF soldiers and Border Police officers in Hebron, accusing the soldiers of apartheid and oppression, and that their actions do not conform to Jewish values,” Erdan said to the media.
In an article in Forward, Gold denied Erdan’s claims, saying that opposing Jewish occupation of Israel was a “Jewish value.”
Gold is the national co-director of US left-wing activist group Code Pink which, as its website claims, aims to “end militarism”. The group also advocates for non-binary genderism.The BDS movement is working to isolate Israel, socially and economically. Though BDS activists claim to be pro-Palestinian in the territories conquered by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, their slogan, “Free Palestine,” is usually accompanied by the slogan, “From the river to the sea”. This declaration implies the intention to completely annihilate the Jewish State.
In an interview with Israeli Haaretz news, Gold said that she may try once again to circumvent the ban on her entering Israel. Her new plan is to make aliyah, immigrating to Israel.
Gold said she was “heartbroken” at being refused entry to Israel. “The land of Israel and Palestine is incredibly meaningful and sacred to me. It’s hard to believe I might not be allowed into a place that is so important to me,” she said.