Banner calling for boycott of Israel
Banner calling for boycott of Israel iStock

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is fuming over the Israeli government’s publishing of a list of anti-Israel organizations whose activists will not be allowed to enter Israel.

The movement branded Israel’s decision as “yet another desperate, fanatic attempt by Israel's far-right government to silence its critics and counter the impressive growth of the nonviolent BDS movement for Palestinian rights around the world.”

“Banning some of the most principled solidarity and human rights advocacy organizations is already backfiring. It is alienating the liberal mainstream and increasing the determination and resolve of human rights defenders all over the world to challenge Israel's decades-old regime of military occupation, colonization and apartheid,” it charged.

“Israel,” continued the movement, “is no longer content with having denied for 70 years the right of the indigenous Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. Now it is denying entry even to internationals who advocate for Palestinian rights under international law, including the rights of refugees.”

The BDS movement also claimed that the Israeli ban “follows the script of South Africa's apartheid regime: it is an anti-democratic, exclusionary and a desperate continuation of Israel's propaganda and legal warfare against the BDS movement.”

The government published the list of organizations on Monday as it steps up its fight against the BDS movement.

Israel’s government just last week approved a plan which will set aside $72 million to fighting the campaign to boycott it.

The plan, which would entail the largest monetary investment yet by Israel specifically toward combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, calls for setting up a not-for-profit organization whose board will be made up of government officials and donors from abroad, the report said.

Last month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that the state has divested all of its investments from the Danish bank Danske Bank due to its boycott of Israeli companies.

Danske Bank, along with Sweden’s Nordea Bank, both announced in 2014 that they would boycott Israeli banks, specifically Bank Hapoalim, because they operate in “occupied territories”.

Days before Christie’s announcement, the Danish Foreign Ministry announced the cessation of financial aid, along with a more stringent vetting process, for the transfer of funds to Palestinian Authority (PA) NGOs which promote boycotts against Israel.