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Israel moves to create punitive ‘blacklist’ of citizens who back BDS

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon [UK in Israel/Flickr]

Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is “set to approve in the coming days new regulations to prevent organisations and individuals who support a boycott of Israel from receiving various tax breaks or from participating in government bids”, newspaper Haaretz has reported.

According to the report, Israeli officials in the strategic affairs ministry “expect a list of Israeli citizens and organisations who support BDS” to be compiled, in addition to “the existing list of foreign groups that promote BDS”.

The paper continued that “if and when the new regulations are approved, an inter-ministerial team will begin work on” a list “for local groups and activists under the supervision of legal advisers”.

Sources in the strategic affairs ministry “said that the effort would focus on central groups and activists – including Israelis – and not on people who are critical of Israel and believe Israel should be boycotted”.

Read: Israel holds international conference against BDS

Those blacklisted would be prevented “receiving benefits from the government or government contracts and jobs, said the officials”.

Finance ministry officials, meanwhile, “said that anyone who is to be sanctioned under any new regulations would first be summoned for a hearing on the matter.”

In addition, Haaretz reported, Israeli authorities are “working to advance an amendment to the Boycott Prevention Law that would allow the filing of civil lawsuits against boycott activists and organisations”.

Israeli law does not distinguish between a call to boycott settlements in the occupied West Bank and a general boycott of Israel.

Read: Israel group to sue New Zealanders for backing Lorde boycott

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