Israeli Blacklist Documents BDS Groups to be Blocked From Country

The Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry on Sunday issued a list of 20 global organizations, which will be denied entry to the country over their support for the "Boycott, Divestment Sanctions" (BDS) campaign against Israel, local media reported.

Groups in Europe, Latin America and South Africa are also named.

"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.

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.

"The boycott organisations must know that the state of Israel will act against them", Erdan said in a statement.

Rehman urged the British government to condemn "this latest crackdown on human rights defenders" through measures such as the "suspension of trade ties with Israel, including the arms trade".

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The leaders of those groups will not be allowed to enter Israel.

He called the Israeli move similar to the tactics used by the apartheid regime in South Africa when it tried to censor critics. Despite a French High Court ruling in October 2016 that the BDS campaign incites hatred and discrimination, the AFPS maintains a website page promoting the boycott of Israel.

Hugh Lanning, chair of the PSC, said in a statement: "This latest announcement should be a wakeup call for the United Kingdom government and all those who continue to describe Israel as a normal liberal democracy". The team also works to prevent the future entry of activists who operate for the BDS movement. Only states that wish to protect their ability to act unjustly behave in this way.

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".

In the years since its formation, the BDS movement has persuaded several church organizations to divest themselves of Israel-related investments and has garnered support on US college campuses.

Erdan, who is the minister responsible for coordinating the Israeli government's response to the BDS campaign of boycott and delegitimization of Israel, acknowledged that "today we need a new approach to the fight against BDS". "The creation of this list is another step in our struggle against the incitement and lies of the boycott organizations".

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