Do not take with you on your flight!!!
(First of all, don't panic)
In general, tourists are allowed to enter Israel without any complications at the crossing point. The procedures are relatively similar to those in any European border passage. You will probably be asked several basic questions (like where are you planning on staying, what is the purpose of your trip, etc.) and afterwards, you'll find yourself on the very holy ground of Israel-Palestine.
The following guide contains instructions to be used in case of a hold-up – if for some reason you evoked the security forces' suspicions and have been taken in for an interrogation/questioning/enquiry etc.
These checks are not a very pleasant experience, but many tourists go through this every day,regardlessof their origin, their sexual orientation, or their political stance.
The fact that you are being held up for an investigation or a "chat" does not mean that you will not be allowed into Israel, or that you will be arrested and put in a dark prison cell (this will only happen at Queeruption),that you will be banned forever from entering the holy land of the Jewish people or that your corpse will be found in a trunk of a car in some European capital.
This is a very normal procedure of the Israeli security services and there is absolutely no need for panic.
What should you do in order to prevent unnecessary risks?
- Be sure to carry with you these 2 most important phone numbers: the first, of your country's embassy in Israel and the second of the Israeli Queeruption legal contact person.
- Prepare a photocopy of your passport.
- Try and adopt a decent, neat appearance, as much as possible. Think corporate, or college student.Leave behind any propaganda materials that have anything to do with anti-zionism,Palestine or any other topics that, to your best knowledge, the Israeli gate-keepers will not like (and yes, a kaffiyeh is well within their definition of propaganda). It is not very practical to try and hide those things in the back of your suitcase, if they are checking, they will check everything.
DON’T WORRY: Sex toys, porn films, condoms, experimental movies, long books about Eco-Anarchism and most of the things you would have thought to take with you to the Queeruption are not considered problematic items by the Israeli border police, they couldn’t care less. It is only things that have anything to do with our own personal petty conflict that might interest them.
If you want to take some things with you to Palestine/Israel but you are not sure if it is safe to take them with you through the border, email Yossi (his email address is in the end of paper) and he will help you decide upon the matter and if needed we’ll give you an address in Israel to mail your stuff to.
- If you are acquainted with any Israeli friends whom you know for sure are not known left-radical activists (and 'activists' means really doing something, not merely talking about it)contact them before you leave your country, tell them that you are arriving in Israel soon, and that you might phone them if you will have any problems entering. You should correlate your stories, it is very important.
What to do in case you are taken in for questioning…
- First of all, be nice and polite. It never hurts to flirt a little or a lot. Do not get angry, or sarcastic. It is important to avoid creating antagonism. It will be worthwhile later, in the nerve-racking stage of waiting to be released, (you will probably want to make a phone call, to make many visits to the facilities, to smoke, eat, practice yoga or whatever).
- While you are still in the airport, it is important to remember there is a chance you are under surveillance. I.e., that it's possible to listen to your conversations, those that take place in person, on the phone or on your mobile. So it is preferable not to say anything that might be incriminating, that might prove you are lying or may associate you with anti-occupation activities or Queeruption.
- In case you are being interrogated, it will be very useful to come up with a good factual back-up story. It is highly important to have a story prepared in advance, which includes the names of the hostels where you'll be staying, places you are planning to go and with whom you are supposed to meet. These kinds of stories are easy to invent by browsing through tourists' guides, or talking to your Israeli friends in advance. If you will arouse suspicion, you will pass several inquiries in which the authenticity of your story will be examined, therefore make it as reliable as possible.Do not lie. At least try not to, as lies will probably be detected in a thorough examination, like, for example, lying about visiting Israel in the past or about changing the name in the passport. On the other hand, there is no need to supply unnecessary information.
- If you are associated with solidarity organizations that are related to Palestine or if you were formerly active in the Occupied Territories in organizations like the ISM, you should anticipate a particularly harsh and unwelcoming attitude, and prepare your alibi seriously.
What to do in the very unlikely event that you are denied entry
- · After the interrogation, if the authorities were not convinced by your life story and they inform you that you are "denied entry", you will be held until the first flight returning to whatever hellhole you came from. Usually it takes up to 24 hours, unless you decide to resist the denial. This will stick a spanner in the works of the Zionistic machine and enable you to struggle for your right to penetrate the country (and our party).
- · You should only contact us after you are refused entrance to the country, and informed about it officially, It is very important that you do not try to make any contact with us before this stage. It is a much better idea to contact your embassy. This is unless you are a known troublemaker in your own counrtyIf for any reason you are forced to board a flight, you have the right to refuse to get on the flight until you meet with a lawyer. Inform everyone you speak with – police and airplane crew – about your refusal, and there is not a chance that you will be boarding the plane against your will.
- · The most important thing is to remain patient. It is a very exhausting mind game. Stick to your story, do not let them brake you, be assertive and polite and try hard to stay as calm as possible, at least outwardly. It is highly important not to contact us until you are being finally and absolutely informed that you are expelled. Contact us only when all hope is gone and you have exhausted all of your own means to infiltrate the country yourselves.
- · We, the legal staff, will try and take care of you as much as possible. But we cannot assure legal aid. Since all our connections with lawyers are based on friendships and political associations, we do not pay them and they will help us voluntarily. If you wish to appear in an Israeli court and appeal your deportation, we will not be able to pay a lawyer and you have to pay the bill yourself.
Haven't read? Haven't applied? Smoked too much and you don't remember anything? Just went straight to the bottom line and you need legal aid or advice?
Call us (on any Israeli phone):
Omer (English, Spanish, and some French) 0507-547079
(+972-507-547079 from abroad)
Or Yossi (English and German) firstname.lastname@example.org