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Israeli supreme court attacks Irish activist's "propaganda"

Mairead Corrigan Maguire is admonished for calling Israel an “apartheid state” as she appeals her deportation.

Mairead Corrigan Maguire (centre) sits in the Israeli supreme court where she this morning appealed a 10-year deportation order she claimed she didn't know existed.
Mairead Corrigan Maguire (centre) sits in the Israeli supreme court where she this morning appealed a 10-year deportation order she claimed she didn't know existed.
Image: Bernat Armangue/AP Photo

AN IRISH WINNER of the Nobel Peace Prize has been admonished in the Supreme Court of Israel after she referred to the country as an “apartheid state”.

Mairéad Corrigan Maguire, who was on board the MV Rachel Corrie when it breached Israel’s embargo on humanitarian aid to the Palestinian-controlled Gaza region, was appealing a deportation order issued against her by a lower court on Friday.

Maguire (66) had arrived in Israel last week, but was barred from entering the country because she had been deported in June after her part in the aid flotilla.

Maguire had told reporters outside the courtroom that Israel would only find peace when it stopped the “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinian people, and – having gone inside – told the three-judge panel that Israel’s authorities should “stop the apartheid, stop the siege on Gaza.”

She was interrupted by one of the judges, who insisted that the court was “no place for propaganda”.

Maguire told the Supreme Court she was not aware that her prior deportation had barred her from entering the Jewish state for ten years, a claim rejected by the court president, Dorit Benisch, who proposed that Corrigan be allowed to stay until Wednesday when the meetings she had travelled to attend were over.

Maguire’s lawyers expect her to be deported immediately, however – a decision that will further batter Israel’s reputation on the international community. A final ruling is not expected today, however.

Maguire won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize along with Betty Williams for her work in battling the growing sectarian divide in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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