Buffalo Human Rights Law Review

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This article explores the challenge which free speech poses to Israeli immigration policy. It does so, first, by looking into the American immigration policy regarding ideological exclusions, i.e. refusing entry of a foreigner to the U.S., or the deportation of one from it, solely due to the foreigner's ideological belief As discussed in this article, the U.S. Supreme Court has been consistently reluctant to strike down laws and regulations barring entry of foreigners due to their ideological convictions, from the beginning of the previous century, throughout the Cold-War era, and up until the recent upholding of President Trump's travel ban. The article then turns to suggest that this doctrine of ideological exclusion is evolving in Israeli immigration policy and law too, and discusses the possible lessons that Israel could learn from the American experience in the field. Three Israeli case studies from the last decade are presented and analyzed: the deportation of a Messianic Jew; the Israeli-PalestinianB ereaved Families for Peace conference; and a recent amendment of the Entry into Israel Law allowing for the exclusion of activists who support boycotting Israel or its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The analysis of the aforementioned cases is conducted along two axes. One is the location of the foreigner, which leads to the suggestion that foreigners already inside the country are independently entitled to the protection of freedom of speech prescribed by international human rights law and by Israeli Constitutional Law, yet are not necessarily entitled to extend their visa just by invoking their right to free speech. The second axis is the Israeli citizens' and citizenry's right to freedom of speech, which encompasses the right to listen, obtain information and engage in dialogue (with a foreigner). This analysis leads to the conclusion that although foreigners do not have a right to enter Israel based on their own right to freedom of speech, the citizenry has a right that the state will not prevent the admission of foreigners solely for their ideological belief.