Israel Bans 20 Organizations from Entry for Promoting Boycott of Country

Israel Bans 20 Organizations from Entry for Promoting Boycott of Country

Israel Bans 20 Organizations from Entry for Promoting Boycott of Country

The Quaker group American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is one of the 20 organizations listed by Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry as groups that have been barred from entering the country. BDS stands for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Amnesty did not appear on Sunday's list.

"The boycott organizations need to know that the State of Israel will take actions to stop them and prevent their representatives from entering the country to harm its citizens", said Gilad Erdan, minister of public security and strategic affairs, in a statement.

Numerous organizations on the list are affiliated with the "boycott, divestment and sanctions" movement, or BDS, which discourages the purchase of Israeli goods and pressures global companies and celebrities to avoid doing business with or in Israel.

Israel instituted a travel ban on 20 global organizations promoting a campaign to boycott the country over its policies toward Palestine.

"The groups carried out activities via a campaign of falsehood and incitement, aiming at undermining Israel's legitimacy around the world", he 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.

The statement from Erdan's office said that the proscribed NGOs were "the main boycott organisations which operate consistently and continuously against the state of Israel, while putting pressure on organisations, institutions and countries to boycott Israel". A spokesman for Erdan did not respond to requests for clarification. According to the TV report these include BDS groups from Italy, France, South Africa, Scandinavia, and the Jewish American group Jewish Voice for Peace.

Israeli officials said the blacklist is part of a policy aimed at turning the tables on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

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.

"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.

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