Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Israel Spreads its Apartheid Tentacles, Bans Twenty Pro Palestine Organisations

01_08_West_Bank Israel Spreads its Apartheid Tentacles, Bans Twenty Pro Palestine Organisations
Lisa Bryan | 10 January, 2018, 01:54

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

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

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. The members of the banned organisations will be denied entry visas and residency rights under a controversial law.

According to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, the regulation does not include those who express political criticism of Israel but only those who have taken significant, ongoing, consistent "material action" to harm Israel through advocating boycotts.

The grassroots level BDS movement is aimed at putting pressure over governments and corporations across the world to end their "relationship" with Israeli government and companies responsible for the brutal occupation and apartheid in Palestine.

"The state of Israel will actively prevent such groups from spreading their falsehoods and odious methods from within the country", Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said, apparently insinuating that the peaceful group that helped victims of Nazism spreads "odious" ideas. Between 2010-2013 then Strategic Affairs Ministry Director General Yossi Kuperwasser developed an action plan on how to counter BDS.


Rights groups criticised the law as "thought control" and noted that Israel also controls who enters the Palestinian, territories apart from one border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

"I will act against this by every means", the minister said.

The group, together with the Friends Service Council, a British Quaker organisation, won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 for assisting Second World War refugees, primarily Jews.

Some of the organizations included in the ban responded on social media, with the Jewish Voice for Peace tweeting: "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".

According to Diker, "Over the last two years the government has done a lot of homework to determine who are the worst violators in the BDS campaign that completely reject Israel's very right to exist as a Jewish State".

"It really shows how vague this idea of BDS is".

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