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

18 groups that advocate boycotting Israel will now be denied entry

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

"No country would have allowed critics coming to harm the country to entry it", he added.
It includes the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and War on Want.

The project will work to counter BDS pressure applied to artists, performers, and commercial enterprises not to engage with Israel.

BDS groups from around the world are included on the list as is the US-based organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, which is calling for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

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. Palesti

BDS, which stands for "boycott, divest and sanctions", aims to pressure Israel into complying with global law vis-à-vis its policies toward the Palestinians.

Rehman urged the British government to condemn "this latest crackdown on human rights defenders" through measures such as the "suspension of trade ties with Israel, including the arms trade". The BDS National Committee; BDS Chile; and BDS South Africa also are on the list.

"Hugh Lanning, the chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: "[The campaign] should be a wake-up call for the United Kingdom government and all those who continue to describe Israel as a normal, liberal democracy.

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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".

The statement from Erdan said the NGOs being targeted were "the main boycott organizations which operate consistently and continuously against the state of Israel, while putting pressure on organizations, institutions and countries to boycott Israel".

Responding to news of the blacklist, Gary Spedding, a British cross-party consultant on Israel and the Palestinian Territories, told The Independent the blacklist was merely an excuse to legally justify barring activists and human rights observers from entering the country. It said "central figures in key boycott organisations" risked being prevented entry.

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"The boycott organizations must know that the state of Israel will act against them", Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement.

Ismail Patel, the chair of the Friends of Al-Aqsa, said, "the blacklist clearly demonstrates how far Israel is willing to go to stifle the legitimate voice of dissent".

"Forming a list is another step in our campaign against the false propaganda of boycott organizations", Erdan said.

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In the years since its formation, the BDS movement has persuaded several church organizations to divest themselves of Israel-related investments and has garnered support on US college campuses.

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