> University of Florida student, Lara Alqasem, who was barred from entering Israel under a law against pro-Palestinian boycotters filed an appeal with Israel's high court Sunday. Israeli officials cite her role as president of a small local chapter of the group Students for Justice in Palestine as the reason for keeping her out of the country.
Alqasem had flown to Israel on October 2nd with a student visa, but was refused entry and has been in detention at the airport ever since. Her case has sparked a debate in Israel over whether democratic values have been compromised by a 2017 law that bars the entry of foreigners who publicly support anti-Israel boycotts.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country is not the only democracy to deny entry to those it deems a risk.>> If you come in and you're virulently against America and you try to come into the United States, there's a good chance you won't be let in if people know that in advance.
That's also true of many of the European democracies. It's true of the democracy called Israel.>> It's about the state abusing its power.>> Lawyers for Alqasem, who is of Palestinian descent, say she had stopped her activities in the pro-Palestinian group months before Israel's anti-boycott law came into effect.
They say she agreed not to take part in any boycott while studying for her master's at Jerusalem's Hebrew University which has sided with Alqasem. In the meantime, her deportation is on hold, as Israel's top court prepares for the first hearing on her appeal this week.