International Womens’ Peace Service

Israeli Judge Silences Jewish American Activist

January 16, 2005 — An Israeli judge today refused to hear US Jewish lesbian activist Kate Raphael Bender’s appeal of her deportation. Judge Tal of the District Court, Tel Aviv, said he could not hear Raphael Bender’s case because her visa was no longer valid. Her visa expired yesterday, after five weeks in detention. Consulting an attorney friend present in the courtroom Raphael Bender accepted the judge’s deal to drop the appeal in exchange for the possibility to apply for her reentry into Israel to the Ministry of Interior. The Israeli law that prohibits reentry after deportation from five to ten years will not apply but this rule is very arbitrarily applied.