Prominent US Jewish activist Simone Zimmerman interrogated at Israeli border over 'connections with Palestinians'

Prominent US Jewish activist Simone Zimmerman interrogated at Israeli border over 'connections with Palestinians'
Anti-occupation activist and former Bernie Sanders aide Zimmerman was held at the Israeli border for hours, quizzed over her political stance and 'why she wanted to help people in Gaza'.
2 min read
06 August, 2018
Zimmerman in a video condemning Israel's travel ban on BDS activists [YouTube]

Simone Zimmerman, a US Jewish activist, was held and interrogated by Israel's security services at the border with Egypt for several hours on Sunday evening, Israel's Immigration Authority confirmed.

Zimmerman, who resides and works in Israel, tweeted that her and a friend were held at the Taba Crossing for four hours, where they were questioned by security agents from Shin Bet over their political views and previous work with Palestinians.

"I'm at the border after a weekend in Sinai and Israeli authorities have detained me and my friend Abby for the last three hours. We are being questioned solely about our political opinions and activities vis a vis Palestinians esp in the occupied territories," the activist tweeted on Sunday.

She said that security agents quizzed her and fellow activist Abby Kirschbaum over places she had visited in the West Bank, what she thought of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and "why she wanted to help [people] in Gaza".

"All of the questions they asked me were about if I go to Palestinian areas, what do I do/who do I meet there, why I go there... and why the hell would I want to do that," she said in another tweet.

Zimmerman, who describes herself on Twitter as part of the #JewishResistance to the occupation, works for an Israeli human rights organisation in Tel Aviv for which she has a valid work permit.

She is a founding member of IfNotNow, an American Jewish anti-occupation organisation.

Following the questioning the young activist blasted the process as a means of intimidation to hinder the anti-occupation cause by preventing Jews from mixing with Palestinians.

The pair also acknowledged their "Jewish privilege" that still allowed them to enter the Jewish State, whereas many others can't.

"The scariest part is the horrifying realization of how badly the Israeli government wants to scare Jews away from Palestinians. They are using all tactics to make the cost of knowing & working with Palestinians too risky that we don’t dare to do it at all," she tweeted.

Zimmerman worked previously for Bernie Sanders as the  Jewish outreach coordinator for the 2016 primary campaign, however, she was allegedly fired after comments surfaced from 2015 where she called Netanyahu a "manipulative a***ole" and "murderer".

Zimmerman, who says she is not herself a supporter of the BDS movement, recently made a video condemning Israel's travel ban on anyone associated with the boycott movement that came into action last year.

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