The Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry on Sunday issued a list of 20 global organizations, which will be denied entry to the country over their support for the "Boycott, Divestment Sanctions" (BDS) campaign against Israel, local media reported.
Also included in the list is the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a group that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 partly for its work rescuing and providing relief to Jews during the Holocaust.
A statement by Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry said those who have carried out "significant, ongoing and consistent harm to Israel through advocating boycotts may be considered to have their entry barred". "We won't end BDS until Israel ends its occupation", he said. A number of individuals have been refused entry into Israel in recent months, including a prominent African theologian and official of the World Council of Churches.
"We have shifted from defense to offense", Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said.
Asad Rehman, the executive director of War on Want, one of the organizations blacklisted by Israel, said the move is part of a wider crackdown on the BDS movement. "Boycott organizations need to know that Israel will act against them and will not allow [them] to enter its territory in order to harm its citizens".
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The blacklist follows up on a controversial law enacted by Israel past year which bans any activist who "knowingly issues a public call for boycotting" the country.
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".
The travel ban is the latest in a series of populist moves by the Israeli government, the most rightwing coalition in the country's history.
The blacklist came out shortly after a letter was signed by 100 artists in support of New Zealand pop artist Lorde, who chose to cancel her Israel concert this summer amid BDS-pressure.
"Israel's decision to specifically ban JVP is disconcerting but not surprising, given the further erosion of democratic norms and rising anxiety about the power of BDS as a tool to demand freedom", the organization said.
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She wrote on Facebook: "As someone with considerable family in Israel, this policy will be a personal hardship".
The BDS movement attempts to put political and economic pressure on Israel through various boycotts in order to purportedly compel the Jewish State to conform with global law.
"A new crack in the wall of the occupation", tweeted Ayman Odeh, an Arab member of Israel's Knesset.
Rights groups criticised the law as "thought control" and noted that Israel also controls who enters the Palestinian, territories apart from one border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
In November Israel denied entry to a United States employee of Amnesty International as part of its anti-boycott offensive under the same rules. The ministry issued the full list on Sunday after the Hadashot news report.
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