BDS student rightfully barred from Israel

Thursday, October 11, 2018
Chad Groening (

anti-Israel BDS protestersThe head of a messianic Jewish ministry hopes the Israeli government will deport an American student who it suspects has ties to the BDS movement.

A 22-year-old American citizen with Palestinian grandparents landed at Ben-Gurion airport in Israel last week with a valid student visa. But Lara Alqasem was barred from entering the country and ordered deported – based on suspicions that she supports a campaign that calls for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel.

While a student at the University of Florida, Alqasem was president of the school's chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine – a group that supports the boycott movement.

An Israeli court has ordered that she remain in custody while she appeals.

Olive Tree Ministries Founder and Director Jan Markell, who also hosts Understanding the Times on American Family Radio, believes barring Alqasem was the right thing.

"They shouldn't let her stay,” Markell argued. “Students for Justice in Palestine is a radical organization. It's far, far left, and if she's there for mischievous reasons – whether it's demonstrations or [other protests], obviously, she represents the sentiment on American campuses. There's hardly an American campus that doesn't embrace this whole BDS movement."

However, Markell also argued that it goes far beyond boycott divestment sanction among millennials on American campuses.

"And that is a literal hatred for the existence of Israel – and sort of a misplaced compassion for the Palestinian people who they perceive are persecuted, tortured, deprived, etcetera by the Israelis … all of those things false,” the Christian leader contended. “But that's the brainwashing that's been going on for the last 20, 25 years or so."

For this reason, Markell believes that the Israelis did the right thing in detaining her.

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