Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mairead Maguire Detained and Refused Entry to Israel: Adalah to Represent

(Haifa, Israel) This morning, Tuesday 28 September 2010, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ms. Mairead Maguire from Ireland was detained at Ben Gurion Airport and refused entry to Israel. Adalah will represent Ms. Maguire and file a petition against her deportation. 

Ms. Maguire, together with Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, founders of the Nobel Women's Initiative, were set to lead a delegation to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) from 28 September to 5 October. The delegation planned to travel to Jerusalem, Haifa, Nazareth, Ramallah, Hebron and Bil'in to learn from and highlight the work of women peace builders. (

Background on Ms. Mairead Maguire
Ms. Mairead Maguire was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her extraordinary actions to end the sectarian violence in her native Northern Ireland. She shares the award with Betty Williams. In the 30 years since receiving the award, Mairead has dedicated her life to promoting peace, both in Northern Ireland and around the world.  Her message is that nonviolence is the only way to achieve a peaceful and just society. Ms. Maguire works with inter-church and inter-faith organizations and is a member of the International Peace Council. She is a Patron of the Methodist Theological College, and the author of “The Vision of Peace: Faith and Hope in Northern Ireland,” published by Orbis Books.

Most recently, in June 2010, Ms. Maguire and members of the Free Gaza Movement set sail on the 'Rachel Corrie Cargo Boat' to help break the blockade on Gaza and bring humanitarian aid to the children and people of Gaza. The boat was intercepted in international waters by the Israeli navy, and it was forced to sail to the Israeli port of Ashdod. Ms. Maguire was detained for two days and then deported from Israel.

Background on Israel's Denial of Entry to Critics of Israeli Policies
This is not the first time that Israel has denied entry to prominent academics and activists who are critical of Israeli policies toward Palestinians. For example, on 16 May 2010, Professor Noam Chomsky was held for several hours at the Allenby Bridge crossing from Jordan to the West Bank, questioned and ultimately denied entry into Israel. The professor, aged 81, was entering the West Bank in order to speak at Birzeit University.

At the order of the Interior Ministry, the Border Police denied Prof. Richard Falk entry to Israel on 14 December 2008. Prof. Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territories was on his way to the West Bank to carry out his official functions. He was deported from Ben-Gurion Airport on 15 December 2008. For more information, see: