Comic detained in Israel

Dembina deemed 'a known radical'

British comic Ivor Dembina has been detained for ‘several hours’ by security police in Israel.

The Jewish stand-up was held as he entered Tel Aviv airport, on his way to perform gigs in Israel and Palestine.

His name apparently turned up on a list of ‘known radicals’, so he was grilled about his intentions in the Middle East.

Dembina, right, at the separation wall in Jerusalem, said: “'I told the secret policeman I was just over there for some tourism but, to his Middle Eastern ear, I think 'tourism' got confused with 'terrorism’.

“I was held for several hours.  But the shows in Bethlehem, Ramallah and Tel Aviv all went great and I'm planning to return next year to do a longer tour.”

Dembina had travelled to the region to perform his solo show, This is Not a Subject for Comedy, about a previous visit to the Occupied Territory.

He is now back in London, where he will be performing the show every Sunday until November 21 at the Hampstead Comedy Club.

Published: 13 Oct 2004

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