US Quaker group on Israel's 'BDS blacklist' responds undeterred
09 January, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Irene Delgado
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.
Israel is investing increasing resources to fight the movement, which it says represents a threat to its character as a Jewish state.
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.
"By waging an all-out intelligence, propaganda and legal war on the peaceful BDS movement for Palestinian rights and by now banning worldwide human rights organizations and advocates from entry, Israel's desperate and brutal attempts to weaken support for BDS are already backfiring", Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of BDS, told the Washington Post. "No country would have allowed critics coming to harm the country to enter it".
Mr Rehman said: "This measure is typical of Israel's ongoing repression of the Palestinian people".
Responding to news of the blacklist, Gary Spedding, a British cross-party consultant on Israel and the Palestinian Territories, told The Independent the blacklist was merely an excuse to legally justify barring activists and human rights observers from entering the country.
Hassan Jabareen, general director of Adalah, which provides legal aid for Arabs, compared the ban to South Africa's apartheid regime, where they "prepared blacklists in order to punish people and prevent the entry of those opposed to its racist policies". The team also works to prevent the future entry of activists who operate for the BDS movement.
The Ministry of Strategic Affairs announced over the weekend that 20 organizations, including six that are based in the US, are on the list. "The creation of this list is another step in our struggle against the incitement and lies of the boycott organisations".
Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said, "No country would allow in visitors who aim to harm it".
In one published reaction by a BDS advocate to the new Israeli restrictions, the head of Jewish Voice for Peace in the United States emphasized her family connections to Israel.
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