“The [Border Authority] was apparently relating to one fact that isn’t typical of Swedish citizens – that the appellant is of Eritrean origin. It’s inconceivable that the respondent would discriminate against citizens of the same country solely because of their origin.…It’s hard to understand the logic of the respondents, who apparently thought the appellant would choose to exchange her Swedish citizenship with all its attendant economic benefits for a status of no status in Israel."
Israel Keeps Out Swedish Tourist Simply Because She’s Black Of African Origin
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
An Eritrean woman with Swedish citizenship was detained in Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport for five days because Israeli immigration authorities feared she planned on illegally immigrating to Israel, Ha’aretz reported – even though she had a round-trip plane ticket and $1,000 and had declared she had come to visit a relative in Tel Aviv.
Azeb Gebreegziabher was only released from custody and allowed to enter Israel Monday after Lod District Court Vice President Avraham Yaakov ordered Israel’s Border Authority to allow her to enter the country. He also ordered the Population, Immigration and Border Authority to pay her 25,000 shekels ($7,200) in damages and he lashed out at it for detaining her at all. Yaakov also implied racism was behind the illegal detention and demanded the Population, Immigration and Border Authority apologize for it.
“The clerks of the respondent acted in an arbitrary and extremely unreasonable fashion. Israel cannot be portrayed in the world as blocking entry to European citizens simply because of their ethnic origins,” Yaakov ruled.
After the verdict, the Border Authority claimed that what Gebreegziabher told the court was not what she had told border control officers at the airport.
“The data presented in court on this issue totally contradicted the data the passenger presented to the border control officers, to whom she unequivocally stated that she was single and childless. When other facts emerged during the court hearing, the authority agreed to allow her entry beyond the letter of law, subject to her depositing a guarantee. We will study the ruling and weigh whether to appeal,” the authority said in a statement.
Gebreegziabher allegedly told the Border Authority at the airport that she planned on touring Israel for two weeks with a relative who lives in Tel Aviv. According to the Border Authority, Gebreegziabher – who they say claimed to be childless – also said she knew that the situation of African refugees in Israel was good, and that they are able to work and that the authorities treat them well. She also allegedly said that the weather was very cold in Sweden and foreigners there weren’t treated well there.
Sweden is actually kind to African refugees while Israel has been atrocious to African asylum seekers and rarely give out refugee status, even though most asylum seekers qualify for it.
In court, Gebreegziabher testified that she had lived in Sweden for 14 years, worked in a hospital there, and had two daughters, one aged 7 and the other 12, who live with her. These facts that were confirmed by the Swedish Embassy.
As it became clear they were going to lose the case, the Border Authority agreed to allow Gebreegziabher to enter Israel – but only on condition she post a 30,000 shekel ($8,700) guarantee.
The judge called that demand “scandalous,” and ordered her Gebreegziabher “unconditionally with an apology for the five days she was held at the airport.”
The judge also lashed out the Border Authority and questioned its honesty.
“The respondent was apparently relating to one fact that isn’t typical of Swedish citizens – that the appellant is of Eritrean origin. It’s inconceivable that the respondent would discriminate against citizens of the same country solely because of their origin.”
Gebreegziabher had no reason to say she had no children, the judge noted, saying he did not believe she had ever made that claim. He also said the Border Authority’s claim that she had indeed lied about having no children was itself likely a lie “which casts doubt on the reliability of the entire [Border Authority] report.”
“It’s hard to understand the logic of the respondents, who apparently thought the appellant would choose to exchange her Swedish citizenship with all its attendant economic benefits for a status of no status in Israel,” the judge noted in his ruling.