Israel bans entry to members of groups promoting its boycott

18 groups that advocate boycotting Israel will now be denied entry

18 groups that advocate boycotting Israel will now be denied entry

The Israeli government on Sunday identified 20 worldwide organizations it says promote a boycott of Israel, and said the Interior Ministry will work to block members of those groups from entering the country.

Supporters of BDS say a boycott will incentivize Israel to come to the negotiating table with Palestinians.

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 BDS campaign encourages people to boycott Israel, urges universities and other organizations to divest from the country, and calls for worldwide sanctions until Tel Aviv complies with global law with respect to Palestinians and withdraws from Palestinian land. "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".

Mr Rehman said: "This measure is typical of Israel's ongoing repression of the Palestinian people".

The blacklist names groups from the U.S., Europe, Chile and South Africa.

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".

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

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

During a visit to Brussels last month, Israel's Minister for Strategi Affairs Gilad Erdan told Jewish organisations that BDS was "on the defensive".

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".

Asad Rehman, the executive director of War on Want, one of the organizations blacklisted by Israel, said the move is part of a wider crackdown on the BDS movement.

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". "The creation of this list is another step in our struggle against the incitement and lies of the boycott organizations".

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