Legal rights NGO: Israel's BDS blacklist 'reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa'

Legal rights NGO: Israel's BDS blacklist 'reminiscent of Apartheid South Africa'

"The groups carried out activities via a campaign of falsehood and incitement, aiming at undermining Israel's legitimacy around the world", he said.

Erdan, who is the minister responsible for coordinating the Israeli government's response to the BDS campaign of boycott and delegitimization of Israel, acknowledged that "today we need a new approach to the fight against BDS".

The project will work to counter BDS pressure applied to artists, performers, and commercial enterprises not to engage with Israel. While its impact has been financially negligible and the campaign has been defied by many, it has created an image problem for Israel by drawing support from high-profile names including the pop singer Lorde, who recently canceled a scheduled performance.

"We have moved from defense to attack", Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement, according to the Times of Israel.

Calling the move "a tactic to silence people", Joarder said the list was meant to "intimidate our supporters and members" and to "scare people from being active and resisting the occupation".

Israel a year ago enacted a law that would ban any activist who "knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel". The nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the latest list come from Europe, the United States, Chile, and South Africa. The movement has, predictably, caused anxiety among Israelis.

European groups on the list include BDS France; BDS Italy; War on Want; Friends of Al-Aksa; The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine; and Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The ministry said there is no intention to ban individuals who express political criticism of Israel nor those who hold Israeli citizenship.

CODEPINK takes pride in being recognized as a staunch defender of Palestinian human rights alongside the other five U.S. organizations (19 worldwide) that have also been banned.

Ahmad Tibi, a member of the Arab Joint List, a coalition of parties representing Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Knesset, said it was ironic that Israel - a self-proclaimed "Jewish state" - is permitting figures such as Austrian far-right leader Hans-Christian Strache to visit the country while banning the members of JVP.

"Rather than change its disastrous occupation policies, Israel is preoccupying itself with campaigns of harassment against anyone who dares to criticize its inhuman treatment of Palestinians".

She was quick to add, however, that she was "heartened" by the fact that it signaled "the BDS movement's growing strength".

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