Israel prevents entry of Dutch activist, citing BDS support
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Israel prevents entry of Dutch activist, citing BDS support

Lydia de Leeuw turned away ‘because she advances boycotts and consistently takes part in activities against the state,’ minister says

Illustrative: An Egyptian buys a pin with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) logo in Cairo, Egypt, in 2015 (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Illustrative: An Egyptian buys a pin with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) logo in Cairo, Egypt, in 2015 (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Israeli authorities have denied entry to Israel of a Dutch activist, in light of her participation in efforts to boycott Israel.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced the decision in a statement, saying it came in light of a recommendation from Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who is also charged with battling the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

A press release from Deri’s office said that the activist, Lydia de Leeuw, was refused entry, “among other reasons, because she advances boycotts and consistently takes part in activities against the state [of Israel].”

“I will exercise my authority and prevent entry to Israel by any person who seeks to harm the state,” Deri said.

“This woman acts consistently to boycott and harm Israel, and I therefore prevented her entry,” he added. “This will be the case in the future, as well, when it comes to boycott activists who try to enter Israel.”

Erdan said: “The rules have changed. Like any normal country, Israel will not stand by in the face of those who would harm it. Those who promote a boycott of Israel and seek to harm its citizens are unwelcome here.”

Erdan’s office said de Leeuw “gives frequent speeches” at BDS events and was active in BDS Netherlands.

De Leeuw lived in Gaza and Nablus for several years. She is a board member of Kifaya, an organization that collects donations for Gaza and says it seeks to spread word in the Netherlands on the plight of Gazans under the Israeli blockade — which Israel says is required to stop the terror group Hamas from rearming and attacking it.

Earlier this month, Israeli officials barred a Jewish pro-Palestinian activist from entering the country and deported her over her support for a boycott of the country.

The case shined a light on a relatively new law that allows the interior minister to deport or deny entry to supporters of the BDS movement.

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