A three-judge panel of the High Court, headed by Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch, rejected Monday evening the appeal of Irish Nobel Laureate and flotilla activist Mairead Maguire to remain in the country.
During the hearing, Maguire’s accusation in court that Israel is an Apartheid state prompted a sharp rebuke from Justice Asher Grunis, who told her, "This is no place for propaganda."
Maguire was appealing a lower court ruling banning her from the country for 10 years for taking part in a flotilla last June that tried to breach Israel’s sea embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza .
She claimed she did not know about the ban when she landed at the Tel Aviv airport on Tuesday to meet with peace activists. Government lawyers agued that Maguire came to Israel to provoke an incident, knowing that she was barred, and the Foreign Ministry earlier in the year denied an appeal from a women's group to ease the ban and allow Maguire to enter Israel.
The court decision followed the rejection by the Foreign and Interior ministries of a compromise suggestion that entailed letting the Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner finish her scheduled stay.
Maguire won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her efforts to end violence in Northern Ireland, but she has been active the past several years in anti-Israel activities. Besides trying to stop the embargo aimed at preventing Hamas from bringing advanced weapons and terrorists to Gaza, she also has backed former Israeli nuclear power plant worker Mordechai Vanunu, who violated security laws and revealed information about Israel’s alleged nuclear projects. She has compared this alleged nuclear capability with Nazi gas chambers.