Is this the very definition of CHUTZPAH?
The World Council of Churches, the very organisation that is bending over backwards to be as awkward as possible with Israel bandying about allegations about ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, now have the hump because Israel has retained for questioning some employees of the World Council of Churches on their way to a conference in Jerusalem. 13 of the 20 people in the group traveling were held back due to what the General Secretary claims are “misunderstandings”.
As a token of their dedication to fair and unbiased journalism, Vårt Land has omitted any clarifying comments from Israeli immigration authorities, so we shan’t ever know the full story.
lifted from vårtland.no rubbish google translate
Demands apology from israel
Church staff were detained for three days at the airport in Israel. WCC accuses the Israeli government of having acted unnecessarily aggressive.
by Tove Bo
The reaction from the Israeli government was totally unexpected, according to General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Olav Fykse Tveit.
– We are disappointed that Israel is acting as unfair, and that people who are on our faces are exposed to such a rude and rough handling. To be held for three days is completely beyond and unacceptable, says Tveit to Our Country.
Last week WCC working group on climate issues in Jerusalem. Upon entry into Israel was WCC staff, representatives of member churches and ecumenical partners held again in one, two and three days at the airport in Tel Aviv. If detention caused misunderstandings believes the General Secretary authorities should’ve called for him to get a clarification.
– Instead they hold in innocent colleagues.
13 of 20 participants were taken aside and interrogated after having told they were going to Israel organized by KV.
– The interrogation became more and more uncomfortable. Many were met with strong, unfounded accusations of how dangerous KV is. Some even got to hear that we are doing criminal activities against Israel, says Tveit.
Israel is known to have strict security checks in and out of the country and it is not uncommon for travelers being taken aside and questioned. Special groups are often subjected to thorough interrogation on entry and exit. This includes people involved in aktivist- or missionary activity, according to the Foreign Ministry’s travel information about Israel. Delegations from KV often stopped, but the problems have not been anywhere near what happened last week, according to Tveit.
– Have you made any thoughts about why they were detained, Olav Fykse Tveit?
– KV has previously criticized parts of Israel’s policies publicly. We believe some of what Israel is doing is against international law and human rights, might have had an impact.
Israeli embassy rejects plea
First Secretary at the Israeli Embassy in Oslo, Dan Poraz, said that Israel like any other independent country, has the right to decide who enters your country. He believes Tveit clues about why they were detained at the airport, is just over.
– That the WCC criticism of Israeli policy should have been the reason why they were detained, an allegation without any basis in reality. Safety assessments made by personnel at the airport, only with behavior there to do, says Poraz.
He would not comment on the matter, but promises to follow it up with the Ministry in Jerusalem.
Asks Israel to apologise
– Do you recognize Israel’s meticulous security arrangements, Olav Fykse Tveit?
– When they invite people to come on three-month tourist visa, we believe that Israel servant to behave democratically as other countries. There is no reason to suspect KV as a security threat for Israel, says Tveit.
Following this incident, Tveit and WCC asked Israeli authorities regret the incident.
– Do you expect a response from Israel?
– We’ll see. We are interested in having contact with Israel and Palestine. If Israel thinks we can not have meetings with the churches in Palestine, they let us know in a way we can relate to.
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The ecumenical climate meeting was supposed to be held in Beit Jala, a Palestinian Christian town in the West Bank. However, to avoid further problems, chose KV to move the meeting to Jerusalem after all participants had escaped from custody at the airport.