Israel lists 20 groups to be denied entry over boycott calls

Israel lists 20 groups to be denied entry over boycott calls

Israel lists 20 groups to be denied entry over boycott calls

A Quaker organisation which received the Nobel Peace Prize for rescuing refugees from the Nazis during the Second World War is among 20 activist groups whose members will be barred from entering Israel over their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

"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.

Publication of the list comes nine months after Israel passed a law banning foreigners who support boycotting the country. Corbyn is a long-time supporter of the group which describes him as a "tireless" pro-Palestine campaigner.

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. "This move is 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".

Human rights groups condemned the move as an assault on free speech. 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.

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".

Fire at Home of Roy Moore Accuser Being Investigated for Arson
Moore's Democratic rival, Doug Jones , was sworn in Wednesday as the next senator of Alabama. Johnson and her family reportedly lost everything in the fire.

"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.

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".

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.

Israel's Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said that organizations critical of Israel would not be allowed to visit the Jewish state and harm the citizens, adding that it was a shift "from defense to offense". He called the blacklist "another step in our battle against the incitement and lies spread by the boycott groups".

The statement from Erdan said the NGOs being targeted were "the main boycott organizations which operate consistently and continuously against the state of Israel, while putting pressure on organizations, institutions and countries to boycott Israel".

Related news