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State Department Won’t Criticize Israel’s Anti-BDS Travel Ban

(JTA) — A new law that would ban entry to Israel of foreigners who publicly support boycotts of the Jewish state is Israel’s “sovereign decision,” a State Department spokesperson said.

In a briefing to reporters on Wednesday, Mark Toner said that while the United States opposes boycotts of Israel, it is up to Israel to make decisions regarding its borders.

“While we oppose boycotts and sanctions of the state of Israel, we also support firmly freedom of expression,” Toner said. “That said, it’s – this is a sovereign decision for Israel to make regarding its borders.”

The law, adopted Monday by the Knesset, bans entry to foreigners who publicly call for boycotting the Jewish state or its settlements.

Several Jewish American groups have condemned the new law, including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee.

The law includes those who urge limiting boycotts to areas under Israeli control, such as the West Bank settlements.

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