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Legal rights NGO: Israel’s BDS blacklist ‘reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa’

January 8, 2018 at 11:26 am

Activists attend a pro BDS march [Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr]

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.

Yesterday, Israeli authorities announced a list of 22 NGOs from Europe, the United States, South America and Africa, “whose employees and/or members are banned from entering Israel due to their alleged support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign”.

The list of organisations now banned by Israel includes:

    AFPS (The Association France Palestine Solidarité), BDS France, BDS Italy, ECCP (The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine, FOA (Friends of Al-Aqsa), IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign), Norge (The Palestine Committee of Norway), Palestinakomitee, PGS (Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden), Palestinagrupperna i Sverige, PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign), War on Want, BDS Kampagne, AFSC (American Friends Service Committee), AMP (American Muslims for Palestine), Code Pink, JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace), NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine), USCPR (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights), BDS Chile, BDS South Africa, BNC (BDS National Committee).

Hassan Jabareen, general director of Adalah – The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, described the move as “reminiscent of South Africa’s apartheid regime which also prepared blacklists in order to punish people and prevent the entry of those opposed to its racist policies.”

In the statement, Jabareen said that Adalah “firmly condemns the Israeli government’s ban, which arbitrarily places draconian limits on foreign visitors.”

Read: Israel creates rapid response unit to combat BDS

“It also restricts the ability of Israeli citizens and Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory to exercise their rights of association for the purposes of family unification, for employment, and for cultural and political exchange.”

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

The Entry to Israel Law (Amendment No. 27) (Denying a Visa and Residency Permit for Advocates of Boycotting Israel), “prevents foreign nationals or non-residents who have publicly expressed support for the BDS campaign from entering Israel”.