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Israel tried to ban a Pro-BDS mayor of Dublin, but failed due to a "spelling mistake"



Israel tried to prevent the Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha, from entering the country on Tuesday night, but failed because it wrongly wrote his name.

Both the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and the Home Office marked Mac Donncha's name. But a typo led the Israeli immigration officers at Ben Gurion Airport in Lod to search for the wrong person.

Aryeh Deri, Israel's Interior Minister, called Wednesday for an investigation into Mac Donncha's success in entering the country after admitting that "we made a mistake at the border crossing."

Deri said that he has also ordered the immigration officials give Mac Donncha a letter forbidding him from entering Israeli territory in the future, on his way back to Dublin.

Mac Donncha tweeted from his hotel room in Ramallah last night and said he had come over Ben Gurion Airport, although news sites reported that he had been denied entry to a conference in Ramallah.

"I can confirm that I'm in Ramallah and prepare for tomorrow's conference," said Mac Donncha.

A spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs told the Middle East that the decision regarding the Der Dublin mayor remaining in the country is still under discussion.

"We heard about his performance last night, but his name will remain on the blacklist in the future," he added.

The mayor's office told MEE that he is on a three-day visit to Ramallah and Jerusalem and will return to Ireland on April 13th. He was invited by the Palestinian Authority to speak about the importance of the city of Jerusalem in the Ninth International Bayt Al-Maqdis Conference

"The Lord Mayor traveled through the airports of Frankfurt and Tel Aviv and met with no difficulties during his trip" it in the statement of the office to MEE.

It added that Mac Donncha would meet Palestinian PA figures, including Mayor of Ramallah, Musa Ha Tat, and that he expressed "solidarity with the people of Palestine, as repeatedly voted by the elected members of the Dublin City Council expressed. "

Tit-for-tat series

Mac Donncha's ability to appear on a "blacklist" despite his name, has become a controversy between the Israeli Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Strategic Affairs over the bureaucratic Botched.

A source in the Interior Ministry told the Ynet news site that the Ministry of Strategic Affairs is responsible for the mistake.

The source said details of the ban on Mac Donncha were not sent along with a copy of his passport.

"The Ministry of Strategic Affairs has misspelled the name of the man in the document he gave the border control, and so it was entered into the system.If someone is denied access, the system should issue a warning but if someone arrives with a passport with a different name, there is no way to know about the ban, "he told Ynet.

But the Department of Strategic Affairs claimed that they had given the Home Office the Dublin Mayor and proper name "as written on its official website [of Dublin city]."

The officer also provided a screenshot from the website, which according to Ynet was sent to the Ministry of the Interior via WhatsApp.

It appears the surname of the mayor with spaces in his passport and without a period on the official website of the city



A screenshot of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs to the Ministry of Interior with the name Mac Donncha was misspelled to Ynet (screenshot )

"Good Friend of the Palestinians"

Mac Donncha was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin in June 2017

He is a member of the Left Sinn Féin Party, one of the most important political parties in Ireland

Sinn Féin is known for his support of the Palestinian cause. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Irish Republic Army (IRA), historically associated with Sinn Fein, have maintained close relations since the 1970s.

Recently, the Dublin City Council passed two resolutions in support of Palestine.

One advocated the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions, a global campaign designed to "end international support for Israeli oppression of Palestinians and put pressure on Israel to comply with international law," according to the official website of the BDS.

The second Donncha proposed by Mac called on the Irish government to expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Ze'ev Boker, who has not yet voted.

Willie Howard, an organizer of the Irish Association, told MEE that Mac Donncha "is a good friend of the Palestinians."

"He went there to visit the Palestinians at their invitation, and it is not Israeli Decision to force him and block him, he is not here to visit Israelis, "Howard said.

He added this Dublin City Council is very active in assisting Palestinians and replaced Irish flags with Palestinian flags in 2017 to mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Israel in the 1967 war.

"Israel's decision is a shame, he is an elected politician and no democratic country would do that," Howard added.

Read more ►

Blacklisted: Why I will not allow Israel to defeat me

The Ministry of Strategic Affairs was founded in 2006 and is expected to work with the Ministry of the Interior to work against the BDS movement [19659037] Last January, it published a list of nearly 20 international NGOs whose members are denied entry to Israel.

Also last January, an investigation on the independent Israeli website "The Seventh Eye" revealed that through the ministry, the Israeli government provided more than $ 100 million to "hidden propaganda" against the BDS movement and to support their sympathizers.

Gilad Erdan, Minister of Strategic Affairs, said the Ministry's policy was "clear."

"The policy I set is clear: anyone who works consistently to boycott Israel will not be here," he said

At present, Mac Donncha is invited by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to attend a conference on the Status of the City of Jerusalem.


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