Israel Reportedly Aims to Bar 20 Organizations From Country Over Boycott Calls

Israel Reportedly Aims to Bar 20 Organizations From Country Over Boycott Calls

Bethlehem, occupied West Bank - Israel has published a list of 20 global groups whose members will be barred from entering the country due to their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The quaker group won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 for its work in helping World War II refugees, apparently many of them Jews of mixed marriages, according to Haaretz.

The ministry said that the list names the primary BDS groups, "who consistently and continuously act against the State of Israel by pressuring groups, institutions and states to boycott Israel".

"We have shifted from defense to offense", Gilad Erdan, Strategic Affairs Minister, said.

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.

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. But I am also heartened by this indicator of the BDS movement's growing strength, and hope that it will bring the day closer when just as I go to visit my friends and family in Israel, so will Palestinian friends and colleagues be able to return home".

The blacklist came out shortly after a letter was signed by 100 artists in support of New Zealand pop artist Lorde, who made a decision to cancel her Israel concert this summer amid BDS-pressure. "Israel's desperate attempt to counter the BDS movement with this latest blacklist, along with the millions of dollars they are spending on internet trolling and propaganda campaigns, will not stop our principled support of equality and justice for the Palestinian people". Erdan told Hadashot news the list was an additional step in Israel's campaign against BDS.

The other U.S. groups on the list are: American Friends Service Committee; American Muslims for Palestine, Code Pink, National Students for Justice in Palestine; and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. The movement has, predictably, caused anxiety among Israelis.

Amnesty and Israeli officials said at the time that Raed Jarrar, an advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at the rights group, was prevented from entering the occupied West Bank.

"We will work to thwart anti-Israel boycotts, while pursuing a lasting peace with our neighbors", he added.

In March previous year Israel's parliament passed a law barring entry into the country for those supporting a boycott of Israel.

She wrote on Facebook: "As someone with considerable family in Israel, this policy will be a personal hardship". At the time of its passing, a number of worldwide human rights groups joined members of Israel's Arab Joint List party in condemning the ban, arguing that global sentiment is overwhelmingly opposed to the occupation.