Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Israel Bans 20 BDS Groups from the Country


Israel is fighting back against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by banning 20 groups that are involved with the movement.

Among the groups that are banned include Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Code Pink and Friends of al-Aqsa (FOA). The full list can be seen below:

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.”

“No country would allow visitors who arrive to harm the country to enter it and certainly not when their goal is to wipe out Israel as a Jewish country,” said Erdan.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri denounced BDS for “trying to exploit the law and our hospitality in order to act against Israel and to defame the country.”

“I will act against this in every way,” said Deri.

The groups that are banned from the country are not pleased about it.

“By waging an all-out intelligence, propaganda and legal war on the peaceful BDS movement for Palestinian rights and by now banning international 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.

“Clearly, the Israeli government is very aware that increasing numbers of Jews and all people worldwide support the BDS movement, and are seeking to intimidate and coerce us into silence,” JVP executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson wrote in a Haaretz op-ed. “It will not work. JVP members have no doubt about the justice of fighting for equality and freedom for all people in Israel/Palestine, and the legitimacy and efficacy of BDS to bring that day closer.”

The irony of such complaints from pro-BDS groups was not lost on some:

+