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Israel reveals blacklist of BDS groups not welcome in Jewish State

Israel reveals blacklist of BDS groups not welcome in Jewish State

"By waging an all-out intelligence, propaganda and legal war on the peaceful BDS movement for Palestinian rights and by now banning global human rights organizations and advocates from entry, Israel's desperate and brutal attempts to weaken support for BDS are already backfiring", Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of BDS, told the Washington Post.

Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry has placed the left-wing, California-based Jewish Voice for Peace and five other US groups on a BDS blacklist.

The list was created after Israel's parliament in March approved legislation that would deny entry visas to foreign nationals who publicly back or call for any kind of boycott - economic, cultural or academic - of Israel or its West Bank settlements.

Amnesty did not appear on Sunday's list.

"The boycott organisations must know that the state of Israel will act against them", Erdan said in a statement. BDS stands for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Supporters of the movement say the tactics are a nonviolent way to promote the Palestinian cause.

It said that they employed "a false propaganda campaign aimed at undermining Israel's legitimacy in the world".

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. "Minister Erdan has made a decision to ban Jewish activists who oppose the occupation, although they are entitled to Israeli citizenship by the discriminatory law of return". The BDS National Committee; BDS Chile; and BDS South Africa also are on the list.

Erdan said on Sunday that the groups "operate consistently and continuously" against Israel using a "campaign of incitement and lies".

Among the groups that are banned include Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Code Pink and Friends of al-Aqsa (FOA).

American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group on the list, said it would continue to work for "peace and justice".

JVP claims more than 13,000 members.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, the executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, criticised the publication of the list, saying it was "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".

However, a spokesperson for the Labour leader revealed last month that Corbyn does not support the BDS movement.

Even so, a slew of other musicians have defied boycott calls and performed.


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