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Israel Bans 20 BDS Groups from the Country

10 January 2018
Israel Bans 20 BDS Groups from the Country

The list, which was released Sunday, contains groups such as the AFSC that support BDS.

The BDS campaign encourages people to boycott Israel, urges universities and other organizations to divest from the country, and calls for global sanctions until Tel Aviv complies with worldwide law with respect to Palestinians and withdraws from Palestinian land.

Hadashot News, the Israel Television News Company, first reported Saturday night that members of JVP, which has over 200,000 online supporters and 70 chapters, could be banned from entering the country.

"The boycott organisations need to know that the state of Israel will act against them and will not allow them to enter its territory in order to harm its citizens", Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan wrote in a Hebrew-language statement.

"That is why the leaders of the world's democracies have joined Israel in rejecting this campaign", Erdan said.

Palestinians demonstrators react during a protest against the visit of Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, during a protest against his visit the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.

Erdan said the blacklisted groups had consistently acted against Israel by exerting pressures on worldwide groups, institutions and states to boycott Israel. They were chosen because they are the main ones who "operate consistently and continuously" against Israel, according to Erdan's office.

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.

Israel's obsession with targeting the BDS movement has caused it to ignore a group's long history of support for Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany.

The Ministry of Strategic Affairs announced over the weekend that 20 organizations, including six that are based in the USA, are on the list. Most recently, pop singer Lorde joined a number of other performers who have canceled performances in Israel amid pressure from BDS activists. 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.