Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire arrived at the Supreme Court Monday for a scheduled appeal hearing in the deportation order pending against her, following her participation in a Gaza-bound flotilla in June.
The judges were in consensus that the Nobel laureate's motives were "impure," but reserved their final ruling for a later date.
Several uneasy moments were felt in court, as it became evident that no interpreter was present for the hearing, for Maguire's benefit.
"This should have been taken care of. If she appears for a hearing she should be able to understand it," Beinish said.
Maguire told the court she came to Israel without knowing that there was a 10-year deportation order pending against her and that she was "shocked to learn of it."
The court made it clear that it did no believe Maguire was unaware deportation order issued against her. Beinish noted that "the claim of ignorance sounds very artificial," while Justice Asher Grunis added that in his opinion Maguire knew of the order, but "arrived anyway, as an act of defiance."
"This is not an innocent visit," said Beinish. "The order stands. With all due respect, we will not be questioning (the State's) sovereignty because of this lady."
Monday's hearing followed a Petah Tikva District Court decision upholding the order. Maguire rejected the State's offer of compromise, saying she should return to Ireland and appeal to the Ministry of Interior to reverse the order from there.
Impure motives? Maguire (Photo: Noam Moskowitz)
The Northern Irish peace activist added that she arrived in Israel as part of a group that believes in peace and called on Israeli authorities to "stop the apartheid, stop the siege on Gaza."
Justice Grunis interrupted Maguire, "This is no place for propaganda."
Attorney Oran Cohen, for Maguire, asked the court to consider leaving the deportation order, but allowing the Nobel laureate to see he current visit through.
Cohen, who represents Maguire on behalf of Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, told Ynet that her organization has appealed the deportation decision "since it is obviously wrong, regardless of whether she new of the deportation order.
"When such an order is considered, one must take into consideration not only Maguire's rights, but the rights of the people waiting to meet her. I hope the court allows her to finish her visit."
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