CD Editor's Note: This post was updated to reflect new developments.
JERUSALEM — Israel's Supreme Court on Monday upheld a deportation
order against an Irish Nobel peace laureate who has taken up the
Palestinian cause, clearing the way for her expulsion, a court official
Israel banned Mairead Corrigan Maguire, 66, from entering
the country because of her attempt to breach Israel's naval blockade of
Gaza aboard a ship in June. A lower court upheld the deportation order
Friday, and she appealed to Israel's highest judicial body.
spokeswoman Ayalet Filo said late Monday that the Supreme Court rejected
her appeal. Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabin Hadad said Maguire was
taken to Israel's airport and would be put on the first available flight
She won the peace prize in 1976 for her efforts to end
sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, but has since turned most of her
attention to the Palestinian cause.
Maguire was detained last
Tuesday after landing at the airport in Tel Aviv on her way to meet
Israeli and Palestinian peace activists.
During Monday's Supreme
Court hearing, Maguire called on Israel to cease what she called its
"apartheid" policy against the Palestinian people.
"This is no place for propaganda," Justice Asher Grunis retorted and cut her off. The session ended soon thereafter.
The government opposed a court-proposed compromise that Maguire be allowed to join the delegation for two days and then leave.
lawyers said they expect her to be deported, a decision that could
further tarnish Israel's image abroad. Interior Ministry officials say
Maguire knew she would not be allowed into the country but sought to
provoke an incident.
Upon entering the courtroom, Maguire said to
reporters: "There will be peace in this country, but only after Israel
ends apartheid and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people."
Nobel laureate Jody Williams of the Nobel Women's Initiative, which
sponsored the delegation, said they were unaware of the ban. But earlier
in the year, Israel's Foreign Ministry denied the group's appeal to
ease the ban and let Maguire take part in the delegation that arrived
Maguire has also voiced support for Israeli nuclear
whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, a man widely seen in Israel as a
traitor, attended anti-Israel demonstrations in the West Bank and
compared the Jewish state's reported nuclear arsenal to Hitler's gas
In 2007, she was wounded at a demonstration against
Israel's West Bank security barrier when a rubber bullet fired by police
hit her in the leg.
Israel has banned other pro-Palestinian
activists from entering the country, including Jewish-American linguist
Noam Chomsky in May. The government later said that was a mistake.
Sunday, the group that organized the Turkish flotilla intercepted by
Israeli naval commandos on May 31 announced that about 500 activists
from various countries in Asia would board ships headed for Gaza in
The Turkish IHH charity said they will set off from
India by land on Dec. 2, cross Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Syria, then
try to reach Gaza by sea on Dec. 27.
activists, including an American citizen, were killed in the May 31
clash, setting off an international uproar.