As Jewish professionals from across the United States and the world, we are dismayed at the decision of the Ministry of Interior to deny entry to American citizen Lara Alqasem.
Alqasem was accepted and planned to matriculate into a Masters program in Transitional Justice at Hebrew University. Despite her having received a student visa from the Israeli consulate in Miami, Alqasem was nonetheless denied entry at the airport on October 2, where, according to reliable media sources, she was questioned about her political activities (unverified information that was obtained by the notorious right-wing website Canary Mission) and her ethnic heritage. (Alqasem's grandparents are Palestinian.)
As Jewish professionals, we stand against racial profiling, and we stand for pluralism, and academic freedom. We also share the concern expressed by Hebrew University rector, Prof. Barak Medina, who wrote in a statement to Alqasem's lawyer that "denying entry to foreign students who have been accepted to such programs, especially when it happens at the airport after they already received a student visa, severely harms the university's relationships with other universities around the world and causes irreversible damage to international ties that the university cultivates."
We are calling on the Israeli authorities to permit Lara Alqasem to enter Israel and pursue her studies.