Israel bans entry to members of groups promoting its boycott

Declaring a "switch from defense to offense", the Ministry of Strategic Affairs on Sunday published a list of 20 worldwide pro-BDS organizations to be banned from the country for their calls to boycott Israel.

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

The statement from Erdan said the NGOs being targeted were "the main boycott organizations which operate consistently and continuously against the state of Israel, while putting pressure on organizations, institutions and countries to boycott Israel".

Other than BDS South Africa and BDS Chile, the groups named on the list are located in Europe and North America.

Israeli authorities said Jarrar was barred at Erdan's orders over unspecified links with BDS.

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. While its impact has been financially negligible and the campaign has been defied by many, it has created an image problem for Israel by drawing support from high-profile names including the pop singer Lorde, who recently canceled a scheduled performance.

Mr Rehman said: "This measure is typical of Israel's ongoing repression of the Palestinian people". A few months previously, BDS activists went so far as to place a severed pigs head in the kosher food section of a Woolworth's store in Cape Town.

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The Israeli government increasingly views the BDS campaign as a threat and has ramped up the fight against what it calls delegitimization efforts. Another PSC patron is Baroness Jenny Tonge, who earned a suspension from the Liberal Democrat party for making antisemitic comments in 2012.

In the years since its formation, the BDS movement has persuaded several church organizations to divest themselves of Israel-related investments and has garnered support on USA college campuses.

The representatives of various United Kingdom -based non-profit organizations reacted on Monday to a recent ban on their members from entering Israel.

Supporters of the movement say the tactics are a nonviolent way to promote the Palestinian cause.

The ban is "an overt violation of the constitutional rights of Israeli citizens and the rights guaranteed to Palestinian residents of the OPT under worldwide humanitarian and human rights law".

Israel a year ago enacted a law that would ban any activist who "knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel".

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