Israeli Blacklist Documents BDS Groups to be Blocked From Country

18 groups that advocate boycotting Israel will now be denied entry

Israeli Blacklist Documents BDS Groups to be Blocked From Country

BDS, which stands for "boycott, divest and sanctions", aims to pressure Israel into complying with worldwide law vis-à-vis its policies toward the Palestinians.

The Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry on Sunday issued a list of 20 worldwide organizations, which will be denied entry to the country over their support for the "Boycott, Divestment Sanctions" (BDS) campaign against Israel, local media reported.

"The organizations named in the list released have undertaken ongoing, consistent and significant action to promote and advance a boycott of Israel", a statement said.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan declared in a statement that the move reflected how Israel has "moved from defense to attack" and called out the BDS movement for spreading "false propaganda". "The groups' activities are carried out via a campaign of falsehood and incitement, whose goal is to undermine Israel's legitimacy around the world".

US-based Jewish Voice for Peace was also on the blacklist, which Lapid say was particularly dumb since, as a group with Jewish members, they could all come to Israel under Israeli law irrespective of this ban. A spokesman for Erdan did not respond to requests for clarification. They were chosen because they are the main ones who "operate consistently and continuously" against Israel, according to Erdan's office.

Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry has placed the left-wing, California-based Jewish Voice for Peace and five other USA groups on a BDS blacklist.

South African, French, Italian and Chilean branches of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) also featured on the blacklist.

American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group on the list, said it would continue to work for "peace and justice".

"Israel's decision to specifically ban JVP is 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 organization said. Supporters say the BDS movement uses peaceful means to pressure the Israeli government, but Jerusalem sees it as a strategic threat motivated by anti-Semitic animus against the Jewish state.

Even so, a slew of other musicians have defied boycott calls and performed.

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