Israeli Minister Rejects Detained US Student’s Promise Not to Promote BDS

Says she must renounce BDS forever

Israeli Strategy Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan has rejected the idea of releasing detained US student Lara Alqasem, even after she offered a letter to him promising that during her stay as a student in Israel she would not engage in any boycott activities against Israel.

Erdan insists that the letter “reveals the fact that she backs the ideology of the boycott,” and falls far short of demands that she publicly apologize and renounce all BDS against Israel both in the past and future to be “considered for admission.”

Alqasem is contesting her detention by the Israeli government, though Judge Erez Yakuel gave no indication when he would reach a decision. She is being held at Ben Gurion Airport.

Despite immigration decisions seemingly not being up to Erdan in the first place, he accused Alqasem of planning to enter Israel to “gather information and misrepresent it around the world.” Alqasem was accused of attending a rally of as many as 19 people calling for the boycott of a brand of Israeli-made hummus.

She had been approved to attend Hebrew University for her master’s degree studies. The US State Department has confirmed they are “aware” of her detention,but that Israel can do whatever they decide. They added that the US government opposes BDS.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of