Alliance member Spedding deported for part in ‘violent protest’

Gary Spedding
Gary Spedding

Israel has defended its decision to deport a member of the Alliance Party as he attempted to enter the country last week.

Garry Spedding, 23, was stopped at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday evening, and claimed that he was told he was being banned from the country for a decade over his pro-Palestinian campaigning on Twitter.

The former Queen’s University student, who described himself as “an international activist”, said that an Israeli lawyer would be taking the case to court this morning.

But the Israeli Embassy in London said that Mr Spedding’s claims of a “ten-year ban” were incorrect.

In a statement, it said: “Mr Spedding’s entry into Israel was denied due to his involvement in organising a violent protest in Queen’s University, Belfast, in which an Israeli representative was attacked, and others were forced to take shelter to prevent being hurt.

“No country has an obligation to allow foreigners who have been involved in violent activities targeting its nationals to enter its territory.”

That related to a protest against a talk by Israeli law lecturer Solon Solomon at Queen’s University which was organised by Mr Spedding. The then Queen’s student, who reportedly led the disruption to the lecture by shouting at Mr Solomon, said that an attack on Mr Solomon’s car was not carried out by his associates and that he condemned such violence.