World News

Israel Bans Some Boycotters of Jewish State

Israel Bans Some Boycotters of Jewish State

Israel's ministry of strategic affairs, a governmental department, has drawn up the list created to fight the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, known as BDS.

The leader of the UK's Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, is a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign which has been included on Israel's so-called BDS blacklist.

"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", AFSC official Kerri Kennedy said.

Israel on Sunday banned representatives of 20 NGOs working in the country from its territory due to their support for a campaign opposed to the occupation of Palestine. It includes the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and War on Want. "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".

The project will work to counter BDS pressure applied to artists, performers, and commercial enterprises not to engage with Israel.

He added: "This blacklist is a repressive tactic borrowed from the same playbook used by the apartheid regime in South Africa, when it tried to censor critics".




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".

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". Liberal democracies do not prevent entry to individuals whose only offence is to draw attention to human rights abuses and to call for non-violent action to address them.

Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, said the country has "shifted from defense to offense" by publishing the list. It will focus on lobbying, public campaigns, solidarity visits to Israel for high-profile opinion-makers, social media campaigns and coordinated activities with pro-Israel organizations in North America and Europe. He called the blacklist "another step in our battle against the incitement and lies spread by the boycott groups".

In the years since its formation, the BDS movement has persuaded several church organizations to divest themselves of Israel-related investments and has garnered support on US college campuses.

The statement from Erdan's office said that the proscribed NGOs were "the main boycott organisations which operate consistently and continuously against the state of Israel, while putting pressure on organisations, institutions and countries to boycott Israel".


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