Israel publishes list of BDS-linked groups banned from entry

Israel publishes list of BDS-linked groups banned from entry

Israel publishes list of BDS-linked groups banned from entry

BDS, which stands for "boycott, divest and sanctions", aims to pressure Israel into complying with global law vis-à-vis its policies toward the Palestinians.

Erdan said the blacklisted groups had consistently acted against Israel by exerting pressures on worldwide groups, institutions and states to boycott Israel.

The Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry on Sunday published a "blacklist" containing names of 20 BDS-linked organizations from around the world who will be banned from entering the country. Groups in Europe, Latin America and South Africa are also named.

"We answered the call for divestment from apartheid South Africa and we have done the same with the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions from Palestinians who have faced decades of human rights violations", said Kerri Kennedy, an AFSC official responsible for global programs. Unfortunately, the Israeli government is not willing to see beyond its contempt for a peaceful movement such as BDS, even when the group in question did so much to help their own during one of the most horrific periods of world history. His strategic affairs ministry has a budget of around $36 million to make counter-plan to tackle the BDS movement.

Rights groups criticised the law as "thought control" and noted that Israel also controls who enters the Palestinian, territories apart from one border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

The list has been prepared by Israel's rightwing Strategic Affairs and Public security Minister Gilad Erdan. Most recently, pop singer Lorde joined a number of other performers who have canceled performances in Israel amid pressure from BDS activists.

Daniel Sokatch CEO of the New Israel Fund at his office in Jerusalem
Daniel Sokatch CEO of the New Israel Fund at his office in Jerusalem

Human rights groups and activists consider such attempts by Israel as an attack on free speech and curbing any criticism of its apartheid policy towards Palestinians. "These people are trying to take advantage of the law and our hospitality in order to act against and defame Israel", he said.

Included on the 20 banned NGOs is the Quaker American Friends Service Committee, which won a 1947 Nobel Peace Prize for helping refugees flee the Holocaust during WW2.

"I will act against this by every means", Dery said.

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

Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), said Israel's act was "disconcerting but not surprising". In June 2016, the PSC along with War on Want brought a legal case against the British Government concerning guidance, which restricted local councils from pursuing BDS against Israel through their pension schemes. A message from Vaknin-Gil confirmed, "Dan Diker and the JCPA provided incredible research on the BDS, anti-normalization and delegitimization phenomena that really needed to be done to ensure that this global campaign can be contained".


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