Israel Bans Entry to Anyone Calling for Country’s Boycott

  • A woman holds a sign in front of symbolic coffins protesting the Israeli occupation.

    A woman holds a sign in front of symbolic coffins protesting the Israeli occupation. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 March 2017
BDS has grown into an effective international movement as many companies and celebrities join efforts to hold Israel accountable for illegal actions against Palestinians.

Israel’s parliament passed a law Monday barring foreigners who publicly support boycotts on Israel and its illegal Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian lands from entering the country, a sign that the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is gaining momentum and alarming the occupation government.

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“In recent years calls to boycott Israel have been growing,” parliament said on its website after the law was approved. “It seems this is a new front in the war against Israel, which until now the country had not prepared for properly.”

The law says that the ban would apply not only to people who call for boycotts against Israel but also to those who call for boycotts of any Israeli entity or any “area under its control,” in an implicit reference to the illegal settlements, the Israeli left-leaning daily Haaretz reported Monday.

The ban also includes those Palestinians with temporary residency in Israel, such as those allowed in the country under the family unification program. Those who spend several years with a temporary status before becoming permanent residents are excluded from the ban.

The Israeli Justice Ministry had urged lawmakers behind the bill to exclude those with temporary residency to avoid a court challenge but the lawmakers refused to do so. It was unclear when the new policy would take effect, and the law says exceptions could be made.

The vote passed 46 to 28, with some in the opposition saying the new law will play into the hands of those attacking Israel.

Israel has long decried groups like the BDS movement which calls for boycotting Israel over its continuing occupation of the West Bank, its blockade on Gaza as well as its illegal settlement expansion on Palestinian lands.

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In recent years, BDS has grown into an effective international effort as many companies and celebrities join efforts to hold Israel accountable for illegal actions against Palestinians.

Israel has been feeling the effects of that boycott campaign as its anti-BDS laws at home attest, while also lobbying its allies to crack down on the BDS movement in their own countries.

Last year, Israeli ministers set up a task force to spy on hundreds of activists and organizations in the country and in the Palestinian West Bank who support BDS.

Most countries around the world see the Israeli Jewish settlements as illegal and an obstacle to any potential peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Many organizations in Europe and the United States have been calling to boycott products made in settlements.

The European Union last year approved a law labeling products made in the illegal settlements in the West Bank as such without banning their import, a move that Netanyahu called “anti-Semitic.”

The inclusion of calls for boycotts against settlements in the new law shows that the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu has been emboldened by the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has softened Washington’s decades-long policy against the settlements.

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Flash Mob – we will boycott Israel – Brisbane BDS 3 June 2011

Brisbane BDS Campaign activists surprise shoppers by performing “we will boycott Israel” to the tune of a popular music anthem in the Myer centre food court below the Seacret Dead Sea Cosmetics stall. Activists have been calling on shoppers and Myer Centre management to respect the call to boycott products made in Israel until it respects human rights and complies with International Law.
The action was part of the global BDS movement to Boycott Israeli goods.
The Boycott Divestment Sanctions Campaign initiated by Palestinian trade unions and civil society in 2005 has the aim of * Ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall * Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and * Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194
Boycott Divestment Sanctions Campaign Flash Mob Brisbane Australia June 3 2011

We will boycott Israel


Israel Kills Prominent Palestinian Revolutionary Basel Araj

  • A man inspects the scene where a Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces during a clash in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

    A man inspects the scene where a Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces during a clash in the West Bank city of Ramallah. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 March 2017
Palestinian progressive factions condemned the killing of Basel Araj and called it an “extrajudicial killing” by Israeli forces.

Palestinians took to the streets Monday afternoon in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to protest the killing of prominent Palestinian activist Basel Araj in an overnight raid, as several Palestinian factions issued statements condemning his killing.

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In a statement released Monday, the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said Araj was “assassinated” and described him as “one of the most prominent young Palestinian fighters” to resist the Israeli occupation, who “worked to chronicle the history of Palestine and confront all attempts to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”

The statement added that Araj was “a revolutionary intellectual who put all of his cultural and intellectual energies in the service of the resistance together with his own actions on the ground.”

Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian activist and the head of the Palestinian National Initiative political party, said Araj’s death was “nothing but an act of extrajudicial killing and assassination.”

“Every price you pay in the resistance … you will get repaid for it if not in your life, then later … Resistance continues to be feasible.”

Two other people confronted the Israeli troops as they raided a house in a village in the district of Bethlehem in the West Bank where Araj was staying. He had been on the run from Israeli authorities for several months for being “close to Islamists.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli police described the Palestinian activist as a “terrorist killed in border police CT operation” for “planning an attack against civilians and security forces,” Micky Rosenfeld, Israeli police spokesperson said in a statement.

However, Araj’s uncle, Khalid, said his nephew spent most of his time “reading and researching, particularly about the history and geography of Palestine,” Al-Jazeera reported Monday.

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The Israeli statement also claimed that officers were at the house to arrest Araj but began to fire after he and the other two fired at them. But Barghouti said he visited the house where the shootout occurred and argued that it seemed Israelis were doing most of the shooting.

“They said there was a fight and clash, but what I found was that the only side that was shooting was the Israeli,” he told Al-Jazeera.

“If Araj had any chance to shoot, he would not have been able to shoot more than one bullet. The house was completely bombarded with Israeli bullets. The Israeli side is trying to claim there was shoot back.”

While the Palestinian government slammed the killing, the leftist PFLP blamed Palestinian authorities for his death suggesting that the security coordination between Ramallah and Tel Aviv have allowed Israel to target wanted Palestinian activists.

“The security coordination is an explicit betrayal of the blood of the martyrs and the principles and values of our people and is continuing to damage the resistance and the Palestinian youth,” the Marxist resistance group said.

Araj was held in a Palestinian prison for almost five months without charges or an explanation of his arrest and was released in September only to land on Israel’s wanted list.

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