20 organisations supporting BDS blacklisted from entering Israel

On 6th January the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel announced that 20 organisations had been placed on a black list that prohibited the orgainsation’s leaders to enter Israel and Palestine.

This followed on from a bill passed by the Israeli Knesset back in March last year which forbade entry to “foreign nationals who call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts” of Israel or the illegal Israeli settlements.

The 20 global human rights organisations which have been blacklisted include:

  • AFPS (The Association France Palestine Solidarite)
  • 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 Palestinakomitee (The Palestine Committee of Norway)
  • Palestinagrupperna i Sverige (PGS- Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden)
  • PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign) – Read a statement by the PSC
  • War on Want
  • BDS Kampagne
  • AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) – a group that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 partly for its work rescuing and providing relief to Jews during the Holocaust.
  • AMP (American Muslims for Palestine)
  • Code Pink
  • JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace) – Read a statement by Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of JVP
  • NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine)
  • USCPR (US Campaign for Palestinian Rights)
  • BNC (BDS National Committee)
  • BDS Chile
  • BDS South Africa

The blacklist is set to have several negative effects. Israelis and Palestinians around the world who campaign and advocate for the rights of Palestinians now find themselves unable to return to their homeland and families. Palestinian civil societies and organisations will become more isolated from the outside world as they are prevented from communicating with their UK and worldwide counterparts.

However, there a few positives that can be drawn. Firstly, as Shamiul Joarder, head of public affairs at Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA), said: this list is evidence that “BDS is working”. By banning leaders belonging to groups calling for non-violent action against Israel’s many human rights abuses against Palestinians, the Israeli government indicates that the growing support for BDS deeply worries them. Secondly, the Israeli government also undermines their (highly incorrect) assertion that they are a “liberal democracy” as denying entry to those who offer non-violent resistance hardly meets any definition of a country that values democracy or human rights.

BDS

It’s clear that this action was designed to try and intimidate and silence those who support BDS. Our response, therefore, needs to be a continued commitment and push for BDS. Please help by continuing to uphold and promote the boycott of Israel.

About Leeds PSC9