Israel imposes travel ban on 20 foreign NGOs over boycott movement.
“This move is reminiscent of South Africa’s apartheid regime which also prepared blacklists in order to punish people and prevent the entry of those opposed to its racist policies.”
— Hassan Jabareen, of the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
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.
The publication of the list, which also includes a well-known Jewish anti-occupation group and a Nobel peace prize-winning US Quaker group, had been threatened for months by Israel.
The organizations 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.
Human rights groups condemned the move as an assault on free speech. A number of individuals have been refused entry into Israel in recent months, including a prominent African theologian and official of the World Council of Churches.
While most of the organisations listed by Erdan are local branches of the BDS movement around the world, others include Jewish Voice for Peace, which has 13,000 members, the US group Code Pink and the American Friends Service Committee, which won the peace prize in 1947.
As well as War on Want, the list names a second British group, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, of which Jeremy Corbyn is a patron.