Inquiry launched into UK airport Israeli discrimination claim

Border Force officers at Manchester Airport are accused of discrimination against two survivors of the October Hamas attacks

Arrival hall of Manchester airport. Photo: MAG
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An investigation has been launched into a claim that two Israeli nationals, who survived the October 7 Hamas attack on the Nova Music Festival, experienced discriminatory treatment by Border Force officers when they landed at Manchester Airport on Sunday.

British Home Secretary James Cleverly announced the inquiry in response to a call from the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester and Region to investigate the allegations.

The two Israelis came to the UK to raise awareness for a non-profit organisation they founded to help survivors of terrorist attacks, the council said.

In a letter posted to X, the Jewish Representative Council wrote: “Upon arrival, when Border Patrol noticed they were travelling with Israeli passports, they were asked why they had come to Manchester.

“They responded that as survivors of the Nova Music Festival, they had been invited to share their experiences with the Jewish community in Manchester.

“They were informed that they would need to be questioned.

“The only reason for their detention and interrogation was because they are Israeli.”

The council said they were detained for two hours, and that it was in possession of a video showing a male officer “speaking in aggressive terms” and in a “demeaning” tone to the two men.

When released, a Border Patrol officer said “they had to make sure that you are not going to do what you are doing in Gaza over here”, the letter claims.

Mr Cleverly replied on the social media platform: “We are investigating this.

“We do not tolerate anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination.

“This incident will be handled in line with our disciplinary procedures.”

The Jewish Representative Council had tweeted: “We have been made aware that survivors of the October 7 terrorist attack on the Re’Im Music Festival were discriminated against by UK Border Force when arriving Manchester Airport.

“We have requested an urgent investigation is commenced and assurances are received to ensure passengers with Israeli passports are able to travel without discrimination.

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“Thank you to the team at Manchester Airport, as we are aware they have immediately acknowledged and recognised the severity of the allegations contained within our correspondence.

“This issue primarily rests with the Home Secretary and we call upon James Cleverly and the UK Home Office to ensure this matter is dealt with as a matter of urgency.”

Manchester Airport has been contacted for comment.

Updated: March 26, 2024, 5:07 AM