Israel bans 20 global NGOs under anti-BDS law

Trevor Jackson
January 9, 2018

"No country would allow visitors who arrive to harm the country to enter it, and certainly not when their goal is to wipe out Israel as a Jewish country".

"We have moved from defense to attack", Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement, according to the Times of Israel. The nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the latest list come from Europe, the United States, Chile, and South Africa.

One such organization included in the list is the American Friends Service Committee, an organization honored with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 for its assistance in aid for victims of Nazis.

Israeli authorities said Jarrar was barred at Erdan's orders over unspecified links with BDS.

The Palestine Group of Norway was among the groups named on Sunday.

Israel's parliament passed legislation in March 2017 that would deny entry visas to people who publicly support any kind of boycott of Israel or its West Bank settlements.

The project will work to counter BDS pressure applied to artists, performers, and commercial enterprises not to engage with Israel. A few months previously, BDS activists went so far as to place a severed pigs head in the kosher food section of a Woolworth's store in Cape Town.

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Last week the government approved a plan setting aside $75 million to fight BDS. It includes the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and War on Want.

In one published reaction by a BDS advocate to the new Israeli restrictions, the head of Jewish Voice for Peace in the USA emphasized her family connections to 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".

Responding to news of the blacklist, Gary Spedding, a British cross-party consultant on Israel and the Palestinian Territories, told The Independent the blacklist was merely an excuse to legally justify barring activists and human rights observers from entering the country.

The ban is "an overt violation of the constitutional rights of Israeli citizens and the rights guaranteed to Palestinian residents of the OPT under worldwide humanitarian and human rights law".

"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.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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