Israel Releases Blacklist Of 20 'Boycott' Groups

Israel Releases Blacklist Of 20 'Boycott' Groups

Israel Releases Blacklist Of 20 'Boycott' Groups

A Quaker organisation which received the Nobel Peace Prize for rescuing refugees from the Nazis during the Second World War is among 20 activist groups whose members will be barred from entering Israel over their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The leader of the UK's Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, is a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign which has been included on Israel's so-called BDS blacklist.

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.

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 not allow [them] to enter its territory to harm its citizens".

Human rights groups condemned the move as an assault on free speech. "We won't end BDS until Israel ends its occupation", he said.

He called the Israeli move similar to the tactics used by the apartheid regime in South Africa when it tried to censor critics.

"Hugh Lanning, the chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: "[The campaign] should be a wake-up call for the United Kingdom government and all those who continue to describe Israel as a normal, liberal democracy.

Israel had previously refused to divulge the full list of blacklisted groups.

The BDS movement calls for governments, businesses and individuals to cut ties with Israeli entities, with the aim of forcing Israel to change its policies in the occupied territories.

The law doesn't target political criticism of Israel, but only those who take "material action" to harm it by advocating boycotts, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs said in a press statement.

Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan defended the Israeli crackdown in a Hebrew-language statement. "The creation of this list is another step in our struggle against the incitement and lies of the boycott organisations".

The blacklist came out shortly after a letter was signed by 100 artists in support of New Zealand pop artist Lorde, who chose to cancel her Israel concert this summer amid BDS-pressure.

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