Israeli citizenship is a complicated topic. I think it requires a special type of PhD to understand it.
In very simple terms — as I understand it — all Jews anywhere and everywhere in the world automatically qualify for Israeli citizenship regardless of whether their ancestors are from Israel. A Jew born and raised in Mongolia could arrive at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv and become a citizen of Israel.
On the other hand, a Palestinian whose grandparents and great-grandparents farmed the land and owned homes in villages located in the area on which Ben Gurion airport now sits, cannot return to see or visit or live on the land that once belonged to their families.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the other Israeli hawks, and most Israelis don’t appreciate the anger and sadness this double-standard creates.
Israeli authorities also issue 10-year travel bans to people they don’t want in Israel, usually activists who are supporting and working with Palestinians.
The latest news is about Adam Shapiro, an American who was detained at Ben Gurion airport. He has been told that a secret 10-year ban was issued against him in 2009 and he will likely be deported. Shapiro is the co-founder, along with his wife, of the International Solidarity Movement.
I wonder if a secret 10-year travel ban has been issued against me. I’m not a high-profile activist by any means, but if Israeli authorities check my passport, they will see the stamp from the Palestinian Authority. I am posting it here because I have no secrets.