Israel Bans Some Boycotters of Jewish State

10 January, 2018, 01:57 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • BDS activists demonstrating

Numerous organizations on the list are affiliated with the "boycott, divestment and sanctions" movement, or BDS, which discourages the purchase of Israeli goods and pressures worldwide companies and celebrities to avoid doing business with or in Israel. The blacklist announced Sunday, which follows from that measure, identifies groups that are waging "a false propaganda campaign" and "undermining Israel's legitimacy in the world", the Interior Ministry said.

Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry has placed the left-wing, California-based Jewish Voice for Peace and five other US groups on a BDS blacklist. There are a few groups from South America and one from South Africa as well. The members of the banned organisations will be denied entry visas and residency rights under a controversial law.

"No country would grant entrance to visitors who seek to harm it, especially those whose goal is to terminate Israel as a Jewish state", said Erdan.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan

"The state of Israel will actively prevent such groups from spreading their falsehoods and odious methods from within the country", Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said, apparently insinuating that the peaceful group that helped victims of Nazism spreads "odious" ideas. The movement has, predictably, caused anxiety among Israelis. Between 2010-2013 then Strategic Affairs Ministry Director General Yossi Kuperwasser developed an action plan on how to counter BDS.

Responding to news of the blacklist, Gary Spedding, a British cross-party consultant on Israel and the Palestinian Territories, told The Independent the blacklist was merely an excuse to legally justify barring activists and human rights observers from entering the country.

Free speech advocates slammed the law as a form of "thought control", and note that Israel already controls who enters the Palestinian territories, with the exception of one border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. The following organisations from the United States also fall on the list- AFSC (American Friends Service Committee), AMP (American Muslims for Palestine), Code Pink, JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace), NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine), USCPR (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights) and BNC (BDS National Committee).

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"I will act against this in every way", said Deri.

The BDS movement has urged businesses, artists and universities to sever ties with Israel and includes thousands of supporters around the world.

Shamiul Joarder, head of public affairs at Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA), said the list was proof that "BDS is working".

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According to reports previous year, Hugh Lanning of PSC became the first British citizen to be refused entry to Israel under the law.

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