Government to make list of Israeli BDS supporters, deny them benefits — report
search

Government to make list of Israeli BDS supporters, deny them benefits — report

Finance minister said poised to approve new regulations preventing boycott activists from receiving tax breaks, participating in government tenders

Illustrative: A Palestinian man walks past graffiti calling for a boycott of Israel on a street in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on February 11, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash 90)
Illustrative: A Palestinian man walks past graffiti calling for a boycott of Israel on a street in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on February 11, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash 90)

The government is reportedly planning to compile a blacklist of Israeli supporters of the BDS movement and deny them tax breaks and participation in government tenders, to complement a similar existing list of foreign activists and groups.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is set to approve the new regulations preventing the benefits from applying to BDS supporters in the coming days, along the lines of a law approved last year that banned foreign individuals calling for a boycott of Israel from entering the country, Haaretz reported Thursday.

In March 2017, the Knesset amended the Law of Entry to prevent leaders of the BDS movement from being allowed into Israel. The amendment applies to organizations that take consistent and significant action against Israel through BDS, as well as the leadership and senior activists of those groups.

The text of the law refers not only to advocates of a boycott of Israel, but to those calling for a boycott only of West Bank settlements as well. However, the question of whether the expected regulations will apply to those who only boycott the settlements is yet to be decided, the report said.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon speaks during the weekly government meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, December 24, 2017. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Sources in the Strategic Affairs Ministry were quoted as saying details of the regulations’ implementation will be determined by a new committee expected to be established by the Finance Ministry under the supervision of legal advisers.

The sources said they thought it likely that a blacklist of Israeli BDS supporters would be established, but added that it would only include political activists and members of organizations, and not members of the public who are critical of Israel and personally think it should be boycotted.

Last month, the Strategic Affairs Ministry published a blacklist that covers some 20 international groups said to be part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which it says consistently and openly works to delegitimize Israel.

“[Our] work of collecting information and intelligence on them [the activists] is important and significant so that we will be able to justify our actions against them,” an official from the ministry was quoted as saying.

“The regulations set to be signed by Kahlon in the coming days will allow us to prevent prominent activists and groups — Israelis included — from participating in government tenders or receiving any sort of benefit from the state.

“There will be a blacklist, yes, if there is an [Israeli] individual who heads an NGO or an organization that supports the boycott.”

The official also said the ministry was seeking to amend the boycott law so that it enables civil lawsuits against boycott supporters, the report added.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments