Today, responding to the news that American student Lara Alqasem will be released from Ben Gurion Airport and allowed to study at Hebrew University, Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund, released the following statement:
“Today, we celebrate one small but significant victory for democracy and academic freedom. Israel’s Supreme Court has issued a strong rebuke to overzealous, anti-democratic politicians and prevented serious damage to Israel’s academic institutions.
“When the government passed its anti-democratic Progressive Ban under the guise of a law changing the rules for entry into the country and “combating BDS,” it was clear that this move is one part of a systematic attempt to undermine free speech in Israel, to apply political litmus tests, and to punish anyone the government marks as undesirable. I hope this ruling will set a precedent that begins to challenge this principle.
“We wish Lara the best of luck as she rejoins her classmates at Hebrew University next week.”