UK-based NGOs slam restriction on entry to Israel

Israel Bans Some Boycotters of Jewish State

Israel bans entry to members of groups promoting its boycott

The Ministry of Strategic Affairs announced over the weekend that 20 organizations, including six that are based in the USA, are on the list.

"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".

The leader of the UK's Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, is a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign which has been included on Israel's so-called BDS blacklist. AFSC advocates for "the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live as sovereign peoples in their own homeland" and has pushed for "a just and lasting peace" in the region.

While most of the organisations listed by Erdan are local branches of the BDS movement around the world, others include Jewish Voice for Peace, which has 13,000 members, the U.S. group Code Pink and the American Friends Service Committee, which won the peace prize in 1947.

"The State of Israel will actively prevent such groups from spreading their falsehoods and odious methods from within the country", he said in a statement on Sunday. Despite a French High Court ruling in October 2016 that the BDS campaign incites hatred and discrimination, the AFPS maintains a website page promoting the boycott of Israel.

Interior Minister Arye Dery said the organizations on the list are trying to exploit Israel's law and hospitality and "defame the country". The movement has, predictably, caused anxiety among Israelis. "I will act against this by every means".

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The NGOs on the banned list include the Paris-based Association France Palestine Solidarite, British charity War on Want, and the American Friends Service Committee - a Nobel Peace Prize-winning US Quaker organization.

Responding to the ban, the AFSC said in a statement that it had been supporting nonviolent resistance for more than 100 years -and had no plans of stopping now.

Israel's newly-published "blacklist" of NGOs whose activists are barred from entry is reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa, a legal rights group has declared.

"We will continue to stand up for peace and justice in Israel, occupied Palestine, and around the world". "No country would have allowed critics coming to harm the country to enter it". "They must also take immediate steps to hold Israel to account for its continuing violations of Palestinian rights through measures such as the immediate suspension of its trade relations with Israel, including the arms trade". The six American organizations include Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a left-wing activist group that "seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem", according its mission statement.

Asad Rehman, executive director of War on Want, said the blacklist is "a desperate attempt to silence a growing movement that is holding Israel to account for its systematic abuse of Palestinian rights, and persistent violations of worldwide law".

"A new crack in the wall of the occupation", tweeted Ayman Odeh, an Arab member of Israel's Knesset.

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