Lara Alqasem:Israel’s High Court Agrees To Weigh Claims Regarding Potential Threat of BDS Activist.
The High Court of Justice on Wednesday agreed to weigh the claims presented by the Im Tirtzu NGO regarding the potential threat posed by U.S. graduate student and BDS activist Lara Alqasem’s enrollment in Hebrew University.
Alqasem, 22, has been held in detention since arriving in the country on Oct. 2 with a valid student visa.
According to Im Tirtzu, only the managerial side of Hebrew University supports Alqasem, while the administrative side is concerned that her enrollment will serve as a spark for violence on campus.
Alqasem, whose father is Palestinian, is a former president of the University of Florida chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. The group is a branch of the BDS movement, named for its support of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
Alqasem, a Florida native, says she is no longer active in the boycott movement. But Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry, which spearheads the government’s efforts against the boycott campaign, is unconvinced and believes she remains a threat.
Alqasem’s attorney, Leora Bechor, said Wednesday’s hearing went well, with Supreme Court justices pressing state lawyers about whether Alqasem truly met the definition of being a boycott leader.
“We’re surprised the court was so friendly to us, and very optimistic that we will receive a decision in our favor,” Bechor said.
The court stated that it will take the claim presented by Im Tirtzu’s legal advisor attorney Ben-Zion Adoram and director of its legal division attorney Yaakov Cohen, into account in its decision.
Earlier this week, after persons affiliated with the New Israel Fund placed several signs in Hebrew U. reading, “reserved for Lara Alqasem”, Im Tirtzu activists replaced the signs with ones showing the names of terror victims HY”D, as reported by YWN-Israel.