Days of Palestine

Sunday, January 29

Israeli BDS supporter flees official Israeli persecution

Days of Palestine -

Gilad Paz, an Israeli citizen and human rights activist, who supports the BDS, has fled to Canada after he was persecuted by Israeli government.

“I am politically persecuted in Israel,” he told Ynet News, “I realised that people like me have no place in the country [Israel], so I decided to leave before it is too late.”

Upon landing at the airport in Montreal on August 11 Paz, a lawyer dealing with human rights and labour law, immediately submitted a formal request for political asylum. In addition, he was active in the human rights organisation Amnesty Israel as well as left-wing political party Meretz.

“I have not believed in the State of Israel for a long time,” said Paz. “I believe that the Zionist idea was a fundamental mistake and we are paying a heavy price for it today.

“The original sin was the Nakba, and later the despicable occupation of 1967 and the deterioration of the situation. I support BDS because I do not think Israel understands any other language.”

According to Paz, he decided to leave Israel and apply for asylum in Canada due to pressure from Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri against BDS activists.

“Erdan and Deri do not like people like me as much as they do not like foreigners, but when it comes to a person like me, who is a citizen of Israel by birth, they have a legal problem which makes it difficult for them to deport me by force,” he said.

“It has been said that people like me will pay the price, and from what I understand by public statements made by the minister, there is now a legal team at the Ministry of Strategic Affairs which is looking for all sorts of ways to hurt people like me legally — whether by criminal or civil methods.

“I am very curious, but on the other hand, I am not a masochist. As such, I decided not to wait for Israel to make that decision, but rather took pre-emptive measures,” Paz added.

In his asylum application, Paz says that he suffered political persecution in Israel because he is a BDS activist and he is afraid to go back to Israel with the current political makeup of the country.

“My family does not really accept my decision. They do not hold the same opinions and do not support my agenda,” Paz admitted.

Addressing the accusation that he is a traitor to his country, Paz replied, “I am not obliged to adopt the agenda of the State of Israel like some sort of parrot. I understand that there is brainwashing here that the entire world is against us. Everyone is an anti-Semite, everyone hates us. I am an Israeli that believes there is another way. I left this country and I will only come back when there is a drastic change in policy.”