These four things will get you barred from entering Israel under its new BDS travel ban
After BDS activists pulled off plane to Israel, senior minister warns, ’The rules of the game have changed’
Judy Maltz Jul 25, 2017
read more: ▻http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.803427
A day after five activists in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement were pulled off a flight from the United States bound for Israel, senior government ministers published an official statement explaining their decision to keep them out of the country.
“These were prominent activists who continuously advocate for a boycott and who sought to come [to Israel] as part of a delegation of extremist boycott organizations whose entire purpose is to harm Israel,” Interior Minister Arye Dery and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said in a joint statement.
In March, the Knesset passed a law that bars from Israel any foreigners who have publicly expressed support for boycotting Israel. In their statement, Dery and Erdan said the BDS supporters were pulled off the plane because of this new law.
Separately, Erdan said that “the rules of the game have changed” and that organizations seeking to harm Israel’s “national security” through boycotts would be denied entry to the country. “We will not let key boycott activists in here to harm us,” he said.
The interior minister is responsible for enforcing the new law. A spokeswoman said that decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, usually in compliance with recommendations from the Ministry of Strategic Sffairs, which monitors the international boycott movement.
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“The Interior Ministry prevented in this case and will also prevent in the future the entry of boycott activists whose key objective is to work against the State of Israel,” said Dery.
The five activists pulled off the flights were part of a 22-member interfaith delegation. They were about to board a Lufthansa flight from Dulles Airport when a representative of the airline notified them that instructions had been received from Israeli immigration authorities not to allow them on the flight. The activists prevented from flying with the group were members of three organizations that support the boycott: Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine and Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
On Monday, the Interior Ministry published a list of criteria that determine which organizations and activists fall under the controversial new ban. The organizations that will be targeted, according to these criteria, are those that promote a boycott “actively, consistently and continuously.”
The document notes, however, that just because an organization is “anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian, or has an agenda that is critical of Israeli government policy” is not an excuse to ban its members from the country.
The ban on BDS activists, the document said, will apply to activists in those organizations that have been targeted as well as to independent activists who meet one of the following criteria:
1. They hold senior-level positions in the targeted organizations;
2. They are key activists in the boycott movement, whether or not they operate independently or through the targeted organizations;
3. They are establishment figures (such as mayors) who openly support a boycott;
4. They operate on behalf of targeted organizations.
A complete list of organizations that have been targeted by the new law will be published in the near future, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Strategic Affairs said.