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Israeli anti-Zionist academic Ilan Pappe interrogated by US federal agents on Gaza views

Professor says he was subjected to two hour interrogation and questioned about his ties to Muslim groups
Ilan Pappe is a historian and University of Exeter academic known for his work on the Nakba (MEE)

Prominent Israeli academic Ilan Pappe said he was interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security after arriving in the US on Monday.

Arriving at Detroit airport, the academic - known for his stridently anti-Zionist views and research - said he was subjected to two hours of questioning.

Amongst the questions, he was asked whether he was a Hamas supporter and whether he regarded the Israeli assault on Gaza as a "genocide".

"The two man team were not abusive or rude, I should say, but their questions were really out of the world!" Pappe wrote on Facebook.

"They had long phone conversation with someone, (the Israelis?) and after copying everything on my phone allowed me to enter."

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A number of pro-Palestinian campaigners have warned of increasing pressure being applied by state authorities in the US and Europe against prominent opponents of Israel's war in Gaza.

Pappe also cited the treatment of British-Palestinian doctor and rector of Glasgow University Ghassan Abu Sittah, who on 12 April was detained at an airport in Germany and refused entry into the country.

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He was travelling to attend a conference on Palestine that he had received an invitation for, but was slapped with a Schengen-wide travel ban for one year, which barred him from travelling to 29 countries across Europe. 

The ban was overturned earlier this week.

"I know many of you have fared far worse experience, but after France and Germany denied entry to the Rector of Glasgow university for being a Palestinian... God know what will happen next," wrote Pappe.

"Actions like this by the USA or European countries taken under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby or Israel itself smell of sheer panic and desperation in reaction to Israel's becoming very soon a pariah state with all the implications of such a status."

Editor's Note: Ilan Pape initially said he was interrogated by the FBI, and was reported as such by Middle East Eye, but Pape has since issued a clarification saying he has been informed that it was the US Department of Homeland Security that interrogated him, not the FBI. The article has been updated to reflect that change.

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