Israel Releases Blacklist Of 20 'Boycott' Groups


Amnesty did not appear on Sunday's list.

"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.

"This list is another step forward in our battle against the incitement and lies of the BDS organizations".

Publication of the list comes nine months after Israel passed a law banning foreigners who support boycotting the country. The movement has urged businesses, artists and universities to sever ties with Israel and it includes thousands of volunteers around the world. The Israeli NGOs produced numerous studies on BDS activities, and eventually the government began taking the issue seriously before launching a plan of action.

Palestinians demonstrators react during a protest against the visit of Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, during a protest against his visit the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018.

"Israel's publishing of a "BDS blacklist" is the latest example of just how fragile the regime actually is and demonstrates a hypersensitivity to legitimate criticisms made of the state's actions and policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians", said Spedding.

Israel Releases Blacklist Of 20 'Boycott' Groups

The Jewish Voice for Peace, one of two American organizations listed, shared a statement condemning the ban as an attempt to "punish us for a principled political stance". They were chosen because they are the main ones who "operate consistently and continuously" against Israel, according to Erdan's office.

Responding to the list, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) said it would continue to work for "peace and justice". The members of the banned organisations will be denied entry visas and residency rights under a controversial law.

The US-based Jewish Voice for Peace, which was also blacklisted, said in a Facebook post: "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".

"Clearly, the Israeli government is very aware that increasing numbers of Jews and all people worldwide support the BDS movement, and are seeking to intimidate and coerce us into silence", JVP executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson wrote in a Haaretz op-ed.

Gary Spedding, a British and a member of the Alliance Party's youth wing, who was refused entry by Israel in 2014 noted that the list was "merely an excuse to legally justify barring activists and human rights observers" from reporting the ground realities.

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