It seems that Israel’s security services have lost their mind in their hunt for subversive elements:
Ivan Prado, the most famous clown in Spain, did not expect to be put on a return flight back to Madrid soon after arriving at Ben-Gurion International Airport late last month, after spending six hours with officials from the Shin Bet security service and the Interior Ministry. The officials accused Prado of having ties to Palestinian terror organizations.
Prado, director of the International Clown Festival in Galicia, arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on April 26 with a Spanish national of Arab origin. They planned to go to Ramallah to help organize a similar festival, but at passport control Prado was taken aside by a Shin Bet officer who asked him about his planned visit to the West Bank and about his connections to various Palestinian organizations. He and his female companion were held for six hours, during which they were questioned repeatedly, and their passports were confiscated.
They were sent back to Spain after an Interior Ministry official informed them that they would not be permitted into Israel.
Read the full story in Haaretz.
Beside the grave PR mistake by the Israeli Authorities, the important issue here is that in today’s Israel, being a friend of the Palestinians, traveling with an Arab or expressing critical views on Zionism is enough to get you in trouble. And if the only argument this government’s supporters can come up with is “in Iran and Gaza things are much worse”, it tells you a lot about the point we’ve reached.