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Israel announces travel ban on pro-Palestinian boycott advocates

09 January 2018

According to a statement by the Strategic Affairs Ministry, those who have carried out "significant, ongoing and consistent harm to Israel through advocating boycotts may be considered to have their entry barred".

Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan stated that "the consolidation of the list is another step in our struggle against the incitement and lies of the boycott organizations".

Other than BDS South Africa and BDS Chile, the groups named on the list are located in Europe and North America.

Israel's blacklist includes: the France-Palestine Solidarity Association, the British War on Want, BDS France and Italy, the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine, the Friends of Al-Aqsa, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the American Friends Service Committee, the American Muslims for Palestine, the Jewish Voice for Peace, the Code Pink and the National Students for Justice in Palestine.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin trod carefully on Sunday around a threatened U.S. aid cut to Palestinians, stopping short of backing. Many leaders of the campaign have publicly affirmed that they seek Israel's destruction. "We won't end BDS until Israel ends its occupation", he said. 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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Israel's government last week approved a plan which will set aside $72 million to fighting the campaign to boycott it. It includes the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and War on Want. A familiar bête noire in the British Jewish community, Tonge's provocations have included the hosting of a Palestine solidarity meeting at the House of Lords in October 2016 where Israel was compared to ISIS and Jews were blamed for the Nazi Holocaust.

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".

The representatives of various United Kingdom -based non-profit organizations reacted on Monday to a recent ban on their members from entering Israel.

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

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri denounced BDS for "trying to exploit the law and our hospitality in order to act against Israel and to defame the country".

Israel announces travel ban on pro-Palestinian boycott advocates