Israel Bans 20 Organizations from Entry for Promoting Boycott of Country

Rachel Megawhat  Breitbart London

Rachel Megawhat Breitbart London

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.

According to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, the regulation does not include those who express political criticism of Israel but only those who have taken significant, ongoing, consistent "material action" to harm Israel through advocating boycotts. "Israel's desperate attempt to counter the BDS movement with this latest blacklist, along with the millions of dollars they are spending on internet trolling and propaganda campaigns, will not stop our principled support of equality and justice for the Palestinian people". AFSC advocates for "the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live as sovereign peoples in their own homeland" and has pushed for "a just and lasting peace" in the region.

The legislation denies permits and residency visas to anyone who has publicly called for a boycott of the country.

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

"The state of Israel will prevent groups working to undermine its security and core interests from entering Israel". Despite a French High Court ruling in October 2016 that the BDS campaign incites hatred and discrimination, the AFPS maintains a website page promoting the boycott of Israel.

Erdan said on Sunday that the groups "operate consistently and continuously" against Israel using a "campaign of incitement and lies".

"Israel sees this as a deterrent, but I think that people will be even more dedicated to the cause", he told Al Jazeera, adding that such policies could end up having positive effects for the movement.

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

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"We will continue to stand up for peace and justice in Israel, occupied Palestine, and around the world".

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".

The blacklist follows up on a controversial law enacted by Israel previous year which bans any activist who "knowingly issues a public call for boycotting" the country.

"It is a desperate attempt to silence a growing movement that is holding Israel accountable for its systematic abuse of Palestinian rights and persistent violations of global law", Rehman said.

The US-based Jewish Voice for Peace, which was also blacklisted, said in a Facebook post: "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".

"A new crack in the wall of the occupation", tweeted Ayman Odeh, an Arab member of Israel's Knesset.

"You can not ban groups who are against settlements, occupation and apartheid and still call yourself a democracy", Tibi told Al Jazeera. As an American Jew, I am proud of my work to challenge Israel's policies of repression.

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