Back in August I wrote about anti-Israel boycotters being banned, and the irony of their complaints at having a taste of their own medicine.
Last week the Israeli government expanded on their original decision by publishing a list of about 20 anti-Israel organizations whose members will be denied entry to Israel:
“We have switched from defense to offense,” said Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.
“The boycott organizations need to know that the State of Israel will act to stop them and prevent their representatives from entering the country to harm its citizens.”
The list features BDS groups who, according to the ministry, carry out campaigns of “falsehood and incitement” in an effort to undermine Israel’s legitimacy worldwide.
The blacklisted groups “consistently and continuously act against the State of Israel by pressuring groups, institutions and states to boycott Israel,” the ministry said.
Among the groups on the list are six US based organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, and 10 European organizations, including leading BDS groups in Italy, France, Norway and Sweden.
The ban is set to be enforced beginning in March and will be limited to people who hold senior positions or who are very active within the organizations.
“The formulation of this list is another step forward in our battle against the incitement and lies of the BDS organizations. No country would grant entrance to visitors who seek to harm it, especially ones whose goal is to terminate Israel as a Jewish state,” said Erdan.
The ministry added that it will be passing the names of the organizations over to the Interior Ministry and border patrol.
Interior Minister Arye Deri said, “As the minister in charge of the Israel Entry Law, I made it perfectly clear that I would use my authority to prevent individuals and representatives of groups, whose sole purpose is to harm Israel and its security, from entering its borders.”
“These people are trying to take advantage of the law and our hospitality in order to act against and defame Israel,” he added.
Erdan claims a certain degree of success in this new method for deterring BDS:
The ministry pointed out that this approach is successful in curtailing BDS efforts, highlighting the recent announcements by Denmark and Norway, who said they would toughen their stances against the funding of pro-Palestinian organizations.
The ministry also touted their efforts which they claim led 24 US states, as well as the federal government, to pass anti-BDS legislation.
The BDS-ers themselves dispute this of course:
The organizations on the list, however, seem undeterred by the latest tactic. Several organizations on the list issued statements on Sunday, claiming that Israel’s move only serves as proof that the BDS movement is spreading and having an impact.
Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, issued a statement and said the ban was “disconcerting but not surprising, given the further erosion of democratic norms and rising anxiety about the power of BDS as a tool to demand freedom.”
The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign issued a statement via its Facebook page and said being on the list was a “badge of honor” and that it was “in good company.”
In fact Prof. Gerald Steinberg, director of NGO Monitor, warned that the ban, while a good idea in theory, might backfire by giving the haters free publicity:
Professor Gerald Steinberg, founder and president of the NGO Monitor watchdog group, told JNS that the government’s move signals that Israel “won’t turn a blind eye to those who work to delegitimize it — but the downside is that it also serves to raise the profiles of these groups.”
The list drew fire from “rights” groups – that is, rights for everyone except Jews. I can’t say I am surprised or even disappointed. They are acting precisely as I expected.
See these tweets for example:
The blogger Edgar Davidson has a nifty graphic illustrating the hypocrisy of the boycotted boycotters:
And here is the full list of the banned organizations – or at least the leaders of the following organizations:
• AFSC (American Friends Service Committee)
• AMP (American Muslims for Palestine)
• Code Pink
• JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)
• NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine)
• USCPR (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights)
• AFPS (The Association France Palestine Solidarité)
• BDS France
• BDS Italy
• ECCP (The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine)
• FOA (Friends of al-Aqsa)
• IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
• Norgeׂׂ Palestinakomitee (The Palestine Committee of Norway)
• PGS Palestinagrupperna i Sverige (Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden)
• PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)
• War on Want
• BDS Kampagne
• BDS Chile
• BDS South Africa
• BNC (BDS National Committee)
In my humble opinion the ban does not go far enough. There are many more such hateful organizations, plus the ban should include everyone who has been active in these groups, not just the leaders. Why should anyone working to undermine the State of Israel, and especially those trying to harm it, whether physically or politically, be permitted to enter and carry out their despicable work on our own turf? Let them try to do it by remote.
If you would like a further reminder of what BDS is all about see this post of mine about the malicious aims of BDS.