Israel publishes list of BDS-linked groups banned from entry

09 January, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • 18 groups that advocate boycotting Israel will now be denied entry

Declaring a "switch from defense to offense", the Ministry of Strategic Affairs on Sunday published a list of 20 global pro-BDS organizations to be banned from the country for their calls to boycott Israel.

The groups support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, founded more than a decade ago to lobby businesses, academics, students and artists to shun Israel.

"We have shifted from defense to offense", Gilad Erdan, Strategic Affairs Minister, said.

The groups that appear on the list are those that are "working in a clear and consistent manner to encourage a boycott of Israel and conduct a campaign of delegitimization against it", Hadashot News reported.

Rehman urged the British government to condemn "this latest crackdown on human rights defenders" through measures such as the "suspension of trade ties with Israel, including the arms trade".

Among the banned groups are the Paris-based Association France Palestine Solidarite, British charity War on Want and the American Friends Service Committee - a Nobel Peace Prize-winning US Quaker organisation. It includes the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and War on Want.

The statement from Erdan said the NGOs being targeted were "the main boycott organizations which operate consistently and continuously against the state of Israel, while putting pressure on organizations, institutions and countries to boycott Israel".

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The ministry plans to begin enforcing the blacklist in March, the Times of Israel reports. I will act against this in every way,"stated Interior Minister Aryeh Deri".

The groups that are banned from the country are not pleased about it. The prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said he intends to remove 40,000 African migrants from Israel and expressed support for making it easier to hang people convicted of terrorism.

Some of the organizations included in the ban responded on social media, with the Jewish Voice for Peace tweeting: "Israel's decision to specifically ban JVP is disconcerting but not surprising, given the further erosion of democratic norms and rising anxiety about the power of BDS as a tool to demand freedom".

She wrote on Facebook: "As someone with considerable family in Israel, this policy will be a personal hardship". "This ban is an overt violation of the constitutional rights of Israeli citizens and the rights guaranteed to Palestinian residents of the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories] under worldwide humanitarian and human rights law".

The blacklist came out shortly after a letter was signed by 100 artists in support of New Zealand pop artist Lorde, who chose to cancel her Israel concert this summer amid BDS-pressure.

In November, Israel denied entry to a USA employee of Amnesty International as part of its anti-boycott offensive.

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