Israel Bans 20 BDS Groups from the Country

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"The boycott organizations need to know that the State of Israel will act against them and not allow [them] to enter its territory to harm its citizens".

The barring of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) in the United Kingdom could theoretically extend to Jeremy Corbyn - the leader of the opposition Labour Party and a patron of the group, one of the major vehicles for BDS activism in the UK. Despite a French High Court ruling in October 2016 that the BDS campaign incites hatred and discrimination, the AFPS maintains a website page promoting the boycott of Israel.

The Jewish Voice for Peace, one of two American organizations listed, shared a statement condemning the ban as an attempt to "punish us for a principled political stance".

Human rights groups condemned the move as an assault on free speech. "They must also take immediate steps to hold Israel to account for its continuing violations of Palestinian rights through measures such as the immediate suspension of its trade relations with Israel, including the arms trade".

He called the Israeli move similar to the tactics used by the apartheid regime in South Africa when it tried to censor critics.

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". Only states that wish to protect their ability to act unjustly behave in this way.

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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".

The leaders of those groups will not be allowed to enter Israel. It said "central figures in key boycott organisations" risked being prevented entry.

"Clearly, the Israeli government is very aware that increasing numbers of Jews and all people worldwide support the BDS movement, and are seeking to intimidate and coerce us into silence", JVP executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson wrote in a Haaretz op-ed.

"The boycott organizations are opposed to the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and are using the boycott as a means to undermine its legitimacy and existence", Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan said in the release.

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

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