Israeli Blacklist Documents BDS Groups to be Blocked From Country

Katrina Barker
January 9, 2018

"The boycott organizations are opposed to the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and are using the boycott as a means to undermine its legitimacy and existence", Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said in the release.

"Support for the BDS movement has been growing around the globe in recent years, as more and more people recognize the brutal reality of Israel's apartheid regime and almost 50-year-old military occupation of Palestinian lands", committee head Mahmoud Nawajaa said in a 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. The ministry issued the full list on Sunday after the Hadashot news report. "The creation of this list is another step in our struggle against the incitement and lies of the boycott organizations". The movement has urged businesses, artists and universities to sever ties with Israel and it includes thousands of volunteers around the world.

"That is why the leaders of the world's democracies have joined Israel in rejecting this campaign", Erdan said.

Palestinians demonstrators react during a protest against the visit of Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, during a protest against his visit the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.

Although details of the ban have yet to be worked out, the ministry said that there was no intention of barring entry to individuals who express political criticism of Israel and that it would not apply to those who hold Israeli citizenship.

Other than BDS South Africa and BDS Chile, the groups named on the list are located in Europe and North America.

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.

The U.S. -based Jewish Voice for Peace, which says it has more than 13,000 members, was also blacklisted.

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". The team also works to prevent the future entry of activists who operate for the BDS movement.

However, a spokesperson for the Labour leader revealed last month that Corbyn does not support the BDS movement.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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