Israel releases new BDS blacklist, denying entry to members of 20 groups

09 January, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • A general view shows the Arab village of Bartaa in Wadi Ara which straddles the Green Line between Israel and the Palestinian territories

The blacklist now covers around 20 groups the ministry says are part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) and which it says consistently and openly work to delegitmize Israel.

Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want, said the blacklist is "a desperate attempt to silence a growing movement that is holding Israel to account for its systematic abuse of Palestinian rights, and persistent violations of global law".

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.

"By waging an all-out intelligence, propaganda and legal war on the peaceful BDS movement for Palestinian rights and by now banning global human rights organizations and advocates from entry, Israel's desperate and brutal attempts to weaken support for BDS are already backfiring", Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of BDS, told the Washington Post. Corbyn is a long-time supporter of the group which describes him as a "tireless" pro-Palestine campaigner. "The boycott organizations need to know that the state of Israel will act against them and will not allow them to enter its territory in order to harm its citizens".

Rebecca Vilkomerson, who leads the group, said in an op-ed for Haaretz that she was "personally feeling the pain of exclusion for the first time from a place that I am bound to by deep ties". The BDS National Committee; BDS Chile; and BDS South Africa also are on the list. "We won't end BDS until Israel ends its occupation", he said.


South African, French, Italian and Chilean branches of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) also featured on the blacklist.

"Hugh Lanning, the chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: "[The campaign] should be a wake-up call for the United Kingdom government and all those who continue to describe Israel as a normal, liberal democracy. Israel says the campaign goes beyond fighting its occupation of territory Palestinians claim for their state and often masks a more far-reaching aim to delegitimize or destroy the Jewish state.

During a visit to Brussels last month, Israel's Minister for Strategi Affairs Gilad Erdan told Jewish organisations that BDS was "on the defensive".

The law doesn't target political criticism of Israel, but only those who take "material action" to harm it by advocating boycotts, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs said in a press statement. He called the blacklist "another step in our battle against the incitement and lies spread by the boycott groups".

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