Israel's Shin Bet reportedly barred 250 people from entering Israel in 2018

Sebastian Scheiner  AP FILEPeter Beinart speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Jerusalem

Sebastian Scheiner AP FILEPeter Beinart speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Jerusalem

A prominent Jewish-American commentator who has been critical of Israel's policies said on Monday that he was detained by Israeli airport authorities and interrogated about his political views before he was allowed to enter the country.

Beinart has been a target even in the USA for his outspoken criticism of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian West Bank.

He was taken for questioning, where an official repeatedly asked him whether he was involved in organizations that could provoke violence, promote anarchy, or threaten Israeli democracy.

He was separated from his family and questioned for a number of hours, he said, adding that he denied the fact that he was against the existence of the State of Israel, but admitted he was opposed to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Beinart's detainment, calling it an "administrative mistake", and a number of left-wing Israeli figures called for an investigation into Israel's apparent new policy of blacklisting liberal US Jews. "Benjamin Netanyahu has half-apologized for my detention yesterday at Ben Gurion airport", he tweeted. "I'll accept when he apologizes to all the Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans who every day endure far worse".

John Sciulli  Getty Images FILE
John Sciulli Getty Images FILE

American-Iranian author and frequent GOST CNN, Reza Aslan said in an interview with ha'aretz that his interrogation on the Israeli-Jordanian border two weeks ago employees of the security Agency Shin bet much different from the previous one. "We can make it so you don't see your kids for a long time" I was warned. The Israeli agency claims Aslan raised suspicion but without explaining how.

"The allegations that threats were made against Mr. Aslan, and that questions of a political nature were asked during the conversation, have been thoroughly examined at your request, and were found to be unfounded and have no basis in reality", the statement said.

In May 2018, Katherine Franke, a Columbia University professor, co-heading a delegation of American civil rights activists, was detained at the Ben Gurion airport upon her arrival and denied entry.

On Tuesday Haaretz reported that Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber's office said in a letter earlier this month that it will look into the incidents of Israel-critics being questioned and ask the Shin Bet for clarification.

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