Israel bans 20 worldwide NGOs under anti-BDS law

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri leads a Shas faction meeting at the Knesset

The prominent British campaign group War on Want has been listed as one of 20 foreign NGOs whose representatives are banned from visiting Israel over their support of the pro-Palestinian boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) movement.

Among those featured on the list are six USA organizations, including two run by Jewish activists - Jewish Voice for Peace and Code Pink.

Dubbed the "BDS Blacklist", - in reference to organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel - the list bars activists from 20 organizations from entering the country, according to Haaretz. Corbyn is a long-time supporter of the group which describes him as a "tireless" pro-Palestine campaigner.

He added that Israel has "moved from defense to offense, the boycott organizations should know that the Jewish state will act against them and will not allow them to enter it to harm its citizens".

Not every person who is a member of such an organization or who has expressed support for such an organization would be barred from entering Israel.

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 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". "We won't end BDS until Israel ends its occupation", he said.

Hugh Lanning, chair of the PSC, said in a statement: "This latest announcement should be a wakeup call for the United Kingdom government and all those who continue to describe Israel as a normal liberal democracy".

It said that they employed "a false propaganda campaign aimed at undermining Israel's legitimacy in the world". Only states that wish to protect their ability to act unjustly behave in this way.

The statement from Erdan's office said that the proscribed NGOs were "the main boycott organisations which operate consistently and continuously against the state of Israel, while putting pressure on organisations, institutions and countries to boycott Israel".

The organisations were singled out by Israel's rightwing strategic affairs and public security minister, Gilad Erdan, for advocating boycotts of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. He called the blacklist "another step in our battle against the incitement and lies spread by the boycott groups".

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