Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Israel publishes list of BDS-linked groups banned from entry

Israel publishes list of BDS-linked groups banned from entry

Israel on Sunday published a list of organizations whose members are henceforth banned from entering the country due to their support of the BDS movement, which calls for boycotting and imposing sanctions on Israel.

Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry has placed the left-wing, California-based Jewish Voice for Peace and five other USA groups on a BDS blacklist. The ministry issued the full list on Sunday after the Hadashot news report.

BDS groups from around the world are included on the list as is the US-based organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, which is calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. "The creation of this list is another step in our struggle against the incitement and lies of the boycott organizations".

BDS, which stands for "boycott, divest and sanctions", aims to pressure Israel into complying with global law vis-à-vis its policies toward the Palestinians.

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Supporters of the movement say the tactics are a nonviolent way to promote the Palestinian cause. "The organizations' activities are carried out through a false propaganda campaign aimed at undermining Israel's legitimacy in the world". "Minister Erdan has chose to ban Jewish activists who oppose the occupation, although they are entitled to Israeli citizenship by the discriminatory law of return". A spokesman for Erdan did not respond to requests for clarification. The BDS National Committee; BDS Chile; and BDS South Africa also are on the list.

"His commitment to upholding human rights and worldwide law - ending the Israeli occupation, ending the siege on Gaza, opposing settlements in the West Bank - has never wavered", the group, one of the UK's leading pro-Palestinian campaigners, previously said in a statement. The final list was worked out in collaboration with the interior, foreign affairs and justice ministries.

"Clearly, the Israeli government is very aware that increasing numbers of Jews and all people worldwide support the BDS movement, and are seeking to intimidate and coerce us into silence", JVP executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson wrote in a Haaretz op-ed.

JVP claims more than 13,000 members. Most recently, pop singer Lorde joined a number of other performers who have canceled performances in Israel amid pressure from BDS activists. Israel has also enjoyed new economic partnerships and diplomatic ties despite calls for boycotts and it has become a top destination for worldwide sporting and cultural events.

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