A bill banning BDS activists from entering Israel passed its first reading in the Knesset (parliament) on Monday, local media have reported. If the bill becomes law, it will allow the interior minister to deny the entry to Israel of activists from the BDS campaign or any representative of any organisation that boycotts the Zionist state.
According to the Times of Israel, the minister will have the authority to make exceptions, but it did not specify what these might include.
The law will undermine the work of pro-Palestine activists, who call for an end to Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights and its brutal military occupation. Even those who call for a boycott of goods produced in illegal settlements — a call which is consistent with international law — will be banned from entering Israel.
The move to introduce such a law follows the global success of the BDS movement. In response, the Israeli government has allocated a sum of $30 million to an anti-BDS campaign of its own.