URGENT ALERT: Minnesota activists jailed in Israel
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We have just learned that Israeli security forces have refused entry to three U.S. activists attempting to visit the Palestinian Territories. One of them, Karen Sullivan, is being sent home on a flight tonight, and two others, Sarah Martin and Katrina Plotz have refused to leave, and are being taken into custody. They are being treated as criminals, while their only goal was to learn about the reality of life for the Palestinian people. All three should be allowed to enter the country, as millions of tourists do every year.
Given the special relationship that the U.S. has with Israel, it is no surprise that U.S. citizens would want to travel there, and see how our tax dollars are spent. In spite of its special relationship with the U.S., the Israeli government showed no regard for the rights of American visitors, whose only crime was to express solidarity with the people of occupied Palestine.
Palestinians experience repression every day. There is no way to travel to Palestinian cities, or from one Palestinian city to another, without passing through Israeli military checkpoints. Palestinian refugees who live outside the territories, have a legal right to return home, but face the same obstacles that stopped Karen, Katrina and Sarah at the Tel Aviv airport today.
Katrina and Sarah have refused to cooperate in the face of this injustice, and have been sent to an Israeli jail. They have been told they will not be allowed to enter the country, and instead will be handcuffed and forced onto a departing plane.
We urge everyone to call, write and fax the officials below to demand the immediate release for Katrina Plotz and Sarah Martin, and to urge Israeli authorities to allow both women into the country to witness the reality of life inside the Palestinian Territories, where they have been invited and are welcome.
Contact the following right away:
U.S. State Department
MN Senator Al Franken
MN Senator Amy Klobuchar
Web Form: klobuchar.senate.gov/emailamy.cfm
Main Line: 612-727-5220
Main Fax: 612-727-5223