Israel Blacklists Group That Helped Rescue Jews From Nazi Germany

Saul Bowman
January 10, 2018

The BDS campaign encourages people to boycott Israel, urges universities and other organizations to divest from the country, and calls for global sanctions until Tel Aviv complies with worldwide law with respect to Palestinians and withdraws from Palestinian land.

The blacklist now covers around 20 groups the ministry says are part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) and which it says consistently and openly work to delegitmize Israel.

"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 Minister Gilad Erdan, said the country has "shifted from defense to offense" by publishing the list.

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

"That is why the leaders of the world's democracies have joined Israel in rejecting this campaign", Erdan said.

US-based Jewish Voice for Peace was also on the blacklist, which Lapid say was particularly dumb since, as a group with Jewish members, they could all come to Israel under Israeli law irrespective of this ban. They were chosen because they are the main ones who "operate consistently and continuously" against Israel, according to Erdan's office.

Israeli officials said the blacklist is part of a policy aimed at turning the tables on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

American pro-Israel groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have accused JVP of exploiting its status as a Jewish organization to bolster the BDS movement.

"I will act against this by every means", the minister said.

"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", Jewish Voice for Peace wrote on Facebook in response to the decision.

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

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