Israel is right to question radical extremists who come to visit

The UK does it, the USA does it. Why should Israel open its doors to those who wish to harm the Jewish State?

Ronn Torossian, | updated: 13:24

Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian
INN:RT

George Birnbaum and Hank Sheinkopf co-authored this article.

In the UK, there are hate laws whereby enemies of the country are denied entry.  The United States has a myriad of laws and systems to ensure that those opposed to America do not enter its boundaries.

Recently, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs announced that those who support boycotts of the country will not be allowed in, with Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan noting: “The anti-Israel boycott campaign seeks not to promote peace but to undermine Israel's national security and existence.”

Hence, despite the New Israel Fund’s (NIF) outrage, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in a repeat of what happened last year to a senior official of the New Israel Fund (NIF), this week two Jewish-American women affiliated with NIF-funded organizations, and radical extremist Peter Beinart were detained upon entry to the Jewish State.  It is perfectly justified given that these individuals, and their patron organization, The New Israel Fund continue to openly support a boycott of the country. The NIF is at present under government investigation.

Recently, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “The New Israel Fund is a foreign organization that receives funding from foreign governments and elements hostile to Israel. … The ultimate objective of the fund is to erase Israel’s Jewish character and turn it into a state of all its citizens, alongside a Palestinian nation-state that is free of Jews on the 1967 lines with Jerusalem as its capital. For decades the fund has funded anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian organizations, including those who slander IDF soldiers such as Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem, and those who fight for Palestinian terrorists, such as Adalah.”

People affiliated with this organization should be questioned upon arrival - they are hostile to the country they are attempting to visit.

Last year, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled that Israel’s Finance Minister can “impose fines and withhold funding from Israeli NGOs calling for boycotts of businesses in all or parts of Israel and the power to file lawsuits against those NGOs.” New Israel Fund (NIF) sponsored organizations, including Gush Shalom, Adalah – the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) challenged that ruling in court – and were opposed.

According to the  Anti-Boycott Bill which passed Israel’s Supreme Court, a boycott is “Deliberate avoidance of economic, social or academic ties or ties to a person or other body just because of his connection to the State of Israel, its institutions or regions under its control, in order to harm it economically, social or academically.” The words “regions under its control” is specifically mentioned, as it denotes and includes those who specifically call to boycott the 'West Bank' aka Judea and Samaria.

This policy is a continuation of one whereby Prime Minister Netanyahu recently said, “The boycott generators do not see the settlements in Judea and Samaria but the settlements in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Beersheba, Haifa, and of course, Jerusalem, as the focus of the conflict.”


The Israeli government has said in no uncertain terms “you cannot stand with Israel while also supporting a boycott.”
Netanyahu noted “We must not cave into the pressure, [we must] expose the lies and attack the attackers. We shall unite forces in Israel and abroad, expose our enemy’s lies, and fight for the Israeli citizens' right to live their lives peacefully and safely.” 

Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Labor Party added “For years, I’ve devoted efforts in the fight against the boycott movement. We will fight to protect Israel’s good name. This is a diplomatic intifada being waged by the haters of Israel.”

Left-leaning Centrist Yair Lapid, said that the boycott “… is not about policies, or about the settlements, or about the peace process; this is classic anti-Semitism in a modern disguise.”

Justice Hanan Meltzer described boycotts as “political terrorism," clarifying that the State of Israel has a right to defend itself from them.

The Israeli government has said in no uncertain terms “you cannot stand with Israel while also supporting a boycott.”

Supporters of the New Israel Fund, including Oz Benamram of White & Case, David Myers of UCLA, leaders of the Leichtag Foundation should expect to be questioned when visiting Israel.  If you support a boycott of Israel, you are no friend of the country. 

The New Israel Fund is beyond the pale. Decent people must oppose all anti-Israel boycotts and disassociate themselves from the NIF. The State of Israel is right to question those who support a boycott and harm Israel.

George Birnbaum is an international political consultant, who formerly served as chief of staff for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Hank Sheinkopf, CEO of Sheinkopf Communications, is a political strategist who has worked on campaigns in four continents. His clients have included former president Bill Clinton.

Ronn Torossian is a public relations executive.








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