Israel Reportedly Aims to Bar 20 Organizations From Country Over Boycott Calls

Israel Reportedly Aims to Bar 20 Organizations From Country Over Boycott Calls

Israel instituted a travel ban on 20 global organizations promoting a campaign to boycott the country over its policies toward Palestine.

"By waging an all-out intelligence, propaganda and legal war on the peaceful BDS movement for Palestinian rights and by now banning worldwide 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.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan declared in a statement that the move reflected how Israel has "moved from defense to attack" and called out the BDS movement for spreading "false propaganda".

Supporters of the movement say the tactics are a nonviolent way to promote the Palestinian cause.

"The State of Israel will prevent groups working to undermine its security and core interests from entering Israel", Erdan said. A spokesman for Erdan did not respond to requests for clarification.

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.

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The listed groups, from the United States, France, South Africa and beyond, count thousands of people as members.

Unfortunately, the Israeli government is not willing to see beyond its contempt for a peaceful movement such as BDS, even when the group in question did so much to help their own during one of the most horrific periods of world history.

European groups on the list include BDS France; BDS Italy; War on Want; Friends of Al-Aksa; The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine; and Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

"Israel's decision to specifically ban JVP is disconcerting but not surprising, given the further erosion of democratic norms and rising anxiety about the power of BDS as a tool to demand freedom", the organization said.

"As the minister in charge of the Israel Entry Law, I made it perfectly clear that I would use my authority to prevent individuals and representatives of groups whose sole objective is to harm Israel and its security, from entering its borders". Most recently, pop singer Lorde joined a number of other performers who have canceled performances in Israel amid pressure from BDS activists.

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