Saturday, 24 Feb 2018 - 9 of Adar, 5778

Renewed effort to fight BDS: Israel to block anti-Israel groups from entering the country

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JERUSALEM/BRUSSELS—As part of a renewed effort to fight the BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions) movement,  Israel’s strategic affairs ministry has listed around 20 groups that are part of the movement and will work with the Ministry of the Interior to block members of these groups from entering Israel.

Following an intensive monitoring, the 20 organizations were found to be acting consistently to encourage boycotts and attacks on the State of Israel.

The list reportedly includes organizations from all around the world including Europe, South America, South Africa and the United States, and even one American Jewish organization.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is expected to receive the list soon and he is to decide whether to prohibit entry into Israel of the organizations and individuals listed.

Israel’s government last week approved a plan which will set aside $72 million to fighting the campaign to boycott it.

The plan, which would entail the largest monetary investment yet by Israel specifically toward combating the BDS campaign, calls for setting up a not-for-profit organization whose board will be made up of government officials and donors from abroad.

The board will oversee the first major “civil-society infrastructure servicing the State of Israel and the pro-Israel community in the fight against the de-legitimization of Israel”.

The project will work to counter BDS pressure applied to artists, performers, and commercial enterprises not to engage with Israel. It will focus on lobbying, public campaigns, solidarity visits to Israel for high-profile opinion-makers, social media campaigns and coordinated activities with pro-Israel organizations in North America and Europe.

During a visit to Brussels last month, Israel’s Minister for Strategi Affairs Gilad Erdan told Jewish organisations that  BDS was ‘’on the defensive.’’

Erdan, who is the minister responsible for coordinating the Israeli government’s response to the BDS campaign of boycott and delegitimization of Israel, acknowledged that ‘’today we need a new approach to the fight against BDS.

’’From a defensive approach we have to turn to an offensive one, more proactive,’’ he said.

‘’For this we need a coordinated and powerful approach. In order to fight a network of hate and lies, you need a network,’’ he continued.

Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor researchers have compiled information on the activities of many of the BDS groups which the Israeli government included in the list of those banned from entry into the country.

While they are not the only groups involved in boycotts and demonization , these are among the worst, according to NGO Monitor:

  • Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS): Calls for French sanctions using Holocaust rhetoric (refers to the Gaza Strip as an “Extermination Camp”) and accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing and apartheid.
  •       Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP): Featured the PFLP terror group’s Rasmea Odeh, who played a role in two terrorist bombings, as a speaker at 2017 conference. Their San Diego branch lobbied for the release of the PFLP head, who was imprisoned for involvement in many terror attacks.
  • US Campaign for Palestinian Rights: Accuses Israel of “war crimes” and constructing an “apartheid wall;” makes numerous comparisons with between Israel and apartheid South Africa, seeking the elimination of Jewish self-determination
  •        War on Want (UK): Regularly erases the context of Palestinian terror and utilizes demonizing rhetoric, accusing Israel of “war crimes,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid.”
  • American Friends Service Committee (AFSC): among leaders of BDS on US campuses and churches; accuses Israel of “slow and systematic ethnic cleansing,” and promotes “anti-normalization,” rejecting dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • American Muslims for Palestine (AMP): Accuses Israel of “apartheid,” and advocates for a “right of return” and the elimination of Israel. AMP board includes at least two members tied to Holy Land Foundation (HLF); HLF assets were frozen by U.S. Treasury because it was funneling money to Hamas.
  • CODEPINK: Regularly presents distorted view of the conflict which omits Hamas terror against Israeli civilians. In 2016 mayor of German city rejected awarding a tolerance prize over allegations that the group is anti-Semitic.



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