Israel Takes Offense in Battle Against BDS

Israel Takes Offense in Battle Against BDS

Israel Takes Offense in Battle Against BDS

Israel has blacklisted 20 groups from around the world that support the Palestinian-led boycott campaign against it, barring their members from entering the country.

Israel is investing increasing resources to fight the movement, which it says represents a threat to its character as a Jewish state.

"We answered the call for divestment from apartheid South Africa and we have done the same with the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions from Palestinians who have faced decades of human rights violations", AFSC official Kerri Kennedy said.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement works primarily in Western countries to persuade companies, entertainers, universities and churches to boycott the Jewish state, divest from it and sanction it in order to force a pro-Palestinian political agenda. It includes the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and War on Want. "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".

"The UK government must condemn this latest crackdown on human rights defenders. We won't end BDS until Israel ends its occupation", he said. Most recently, pop singer Lorde joined a number of other performers who have canceled performances in Israel amid pressure from BDS activists. The BDS National Committee; BDS Chile; and BDS South Africa also are on the list.

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

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"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.

"The anti-Israel boycott campaign seeks not to promote peace but to undermine Israel's national security and existence", said minister Gilad Erdan. Only states that wish to protect their ability to act unjustly behave in this way.

A list of 20 organizations banned by Israel was released by the Strategic Affairs Ministry on Sunday.

"Forming a list is another step in our campaign against the false propaganda of boycott organizations", Erdan said.

According to a statement by the Strategic Affairs Ministry, those who have carried out "significant, ongoing and consistent harm to Israel through advocating boycotts may be considered to have their entry barred".

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.

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