Israel Reportedly Aims to Bar 20 Organizations From Country Over Boycott Calls

09 January, 2018, 02:09 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Interior Security Minister Gilad Erdan at a Likud party conference in Lod

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a quaker NGO group that advocates for human rights and was one of the 20 organizations included on Israel's "BDS Blacklist" published Sunday, responded that it would not be deterred in its pursuit of "peace and justice".

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.

The six American organizations include Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a left-wing activist group that "seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem", according its mission statement.

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 global companies and celebrities to avoid doing business with or in Israel.

"No country would have allowed critics coming to harm the country to entry it", he added.

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"The UK government must condemn this latest crackdown on human rights defenders".

Not every person who is a member of such an organization or who has expressed support for such an organization would be barred from entering Israel.

The blacklist names groups from the U.S., Europe, Chile and South Africa.

The statement goes on to attack the organizations, accusing them of employing "a false propaganda campaign aimed at undermining Israel's legitimacy in the world".

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Hugh Lanning, chair of the PSC, said in a statement: "This latest announcement should be a wakeup call for the United Kingdom government and all those who continue to describe Israel as a normal liberal democracy".

Hassan Jabareen, general director of Adalah - The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, described the move as "reminiscent of South Africa's apartheid regime which also prepared blacklists in order to punish people and prevent the entry of those opposed to its racist policies".

The Ministry of Strategic Affairs published the list after deciding together with the Ministry of Interior back in back in March, 2017 that entry to Israel would be denied to individuals associated with the listed organizations.

"No country would allow visitors who arrive to harm the country to enter it and certainly not when their goal is to wipe out Israel as a Jewish country", said Erdan. "The creation of this list is another step in our struggle against the incitement and lies of the boycott organisations".

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In one published reaction by a BDS advocate to the new Israeli restrictions, the head of Jewish Voice for Peace in the U.S. emphasized her family connections to Israel.

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