Israeli, Palestinian rights groups denounce ban on BDS groups

Prominent Israeli and Palestinian rights groups denounce the banning of 20 foreign NGOs from Israel over their efforts to boycott the Jewish state.

The Haifa-based advocacy group Adalah in a statement condemns the anti-boycott measure as “reminiscent of apartheid.”

“This ban is an overt violation of the constitutional rights of Israeli citizens and the rights guaranteed to Palestinian residents of the OPT under international humanitarian and human rights law,” the organization says in a statement. “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.”

The left-wing New Israel Fund also criticizes the ban as undemocratic.

In a statement, NIF says that while it does not support the BDS movement, it says that “banning political opposition is the policy of autocracies, not democracies.”

“The Netanyahu government’s Entry Law, which is a travel ban that uses blacklists and litmus tests to bar visitors from entering Israel based on their beliefs, flies in the face of the democratic principles enshrined in Israel’s declaration of independence,” CEO Daniel Sokatch says.

“We know that it’s profoundly anti-democratic to discriminate against those who advocate for nonviolent strategies just because the government doesn’t agree with their views,” the statement says. “Our position is principled: We do not support the BDS movement. We oppose the government’s travel ban and all its actions to punish those with whom it disagrees.”

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