Israel Bans 20 Organizations from Entry for Promoting Boycott of Country

Israel Bans 20 Organizations from Entry for Promoting Boycott of Country

Israel Bans 20 Organizations from Entry for Promoting Boycott of Country

Numerous organizations on the list are affiliated with the "boycott, divestment and sanctions" movement, or BDS, which discourages the purchase of Israeli goods and pressures global companies and celebrities to avoid doing business with or in Israel.

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

A spokesperson for Israel's ministry of strategic affairs told Al Jazeera that the list did not represent a "blanket ban" on all members of the organisations, but the entry of their members would be considered on a "case by case basis".

"It is a desperate attempt to silence a growing movement that is holding Israel accountable for its systematic abuse of Palestinian rights and persistent violations of worldwide law", Rehman said.

Responding to the list, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) said it would continue to work for "peace and justice". It said "central figures in key boycott organizations" risked being prevented entry.

"Forming a list is another step in our campaign against the false propaganda of boycott organizations", Erdan said.

The list, released by Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs, included organisations from America, Europe, Latin America and South Africa after refusing to divulge for months which groups were banned.

"Rather than change its disastrous occupation policies, Israel is preoccupying itself with campaigns of harassment against anyone who dares criticise its inhuman treatment of Palestinians".

"The anti-Israel boycott campaign seeks not to promote peace but to undermine Israel's national security and existence", said minister Gilad Erdan. They were chosen because they are the main ones who "operate consistently and continuously" against Israel, according to Erdan's office.

"We answered the call for divestment from apartheid South Africa and we have done the same with the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions from Palestinians who have faced decades of human rights violations", AFSC official Kerri Kennedy said.

The U.S. -based Jewish Voice for Peace was also blacklisted.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which was also included in the list, said Israel's move was "disconcerting but not surprising".

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 USA college campuses.

It recently achieved a huge win after more than 100 artists signed an open-letter supporting New Zealand based singer Lorde to cancel her show in Tel-Aviv as part of the Palestinian call to boycott Israel. Israel has also enjoyed new economic partnerships and diplomatic ties despite calls for boycotts and it has become a top destination for global sporting and cultural events.

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