Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Israel deports Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire
Israel on Monday has deported Nobel peace prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire after she lost an appeal in the Israeli Supreme Court. Corrigan Maguire won the Nobel peace prize along with Betty Williams in 1976 for their efforts to end sectarian violence in their native Northern Ireland. Maguire, who was banned from Israel for 10 years after trying to breach its naval blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in June with the ship Rachel Corrie, was detained and ordered deported last Tuesday after flying into Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport.
She appealed the order in the Supreme Court, arguing that she had been deluded in signing a paper that she would not return to Israel in ten years without knowing what she was signing. However, according to a transcript of the hearing, the Court voiced incredulity at her argument that she had been unaware of the ban. "I hope the court will allow me to stay in Israel with my Israeli and Palestinian friends," Maguire told reporters before the court turned her down Monday. "There will be peace in this country, I believe it, but only when Israel ends apartheid and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people," she said, using terminology Israel has long challenged.