A prominent American Jewish activist who used to work for Senator Bernie Sanders was interrogated by Israeli security service agents yesterday evening, reported Haaretz.
Simone Zimmerman, a founding member of anti-occupation group IfNotNow, was held for at least three hours at the border between Israel and Egypt, confirmed Israel’s Immigration Authority.
According to Haaretz, “Shin Bet agents asked Zimmerman which places she had visited in the West Bank and what she thought of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
While detained at the Taba crossing, Zimmerman tweeted that she and fellow activist Abby Kirschbaum were being questioned about their political views and activities related to Palestinians.
According to Zimmerman, among the first things she was asked by Israeli officials were: “Why did you come here to work with Palestinians? Why not with Jews?”
The scariest part is the horrifying realization of how badly the Israeli government wants to scare Jews away from Palestinians. They are using all tactics to make the cost of knowing & working with Palestinians too risky that we don’t dare to do it at all.
— Simone Zimmerman 🔥 (@simonerzim) August 5, 2018
The paper notes that Zimmerman’s questioning came less than a week after an Israeli returning from the US “was detained by Shin Bet agents at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv for a ‘cautionary conversation’ because of his involvement in left-wing organisations”.
In July, meanwhile, “a prominent Jewish-American philanthropist was delayed for questioning at Ben-Gurion Airport after a pro-Palestinian pamphlet was found in his suitcase”.
It is now beyond doubt that the Netanyahu government has turned its border crossings into interrogation chambers
said Daniel Sokatch, the CEO of the New Israel Fund, reacting to the reports on Simone Zimmerman’s interrogation.