JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry has placed the left-wing, California-based Jewish Voice for Peace and five other U.S. groups on a BDS blacklist.
Hadashot News, the Israel Television News Company, first reported Saturday night that members of JVP, which has over 200,000 online supporters and 70 chapters, could be banned from entering the country.
The BDS blacklist has 20 organizations on it. The ministry issued the full list on Sunday after the Hadashot news report. BDS stands for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
The other U.S. groups on the list are: American Friends Service Committee; American Muslims for Palestine, Code Pink, National Students for Justice in Palestine; and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.
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 BDS National Committee; BDS Chile; and BDS South Africa also are on the list.
The groups that appear on the list are those that are “working in a clear and consistent manner to encourage a boycott of Israel and conduct a campaign of delegitimization against it,” Hadashot News reported.
The Interior Ministry will be responsible for enforcing the list, reportedly beginning in March.
Not every person who is a member of such an organization or who has expressed support for such an organization would be barred from entering Israel. It is reported to be limited to those who hold senior or key positions in the groups that appear on the blacklist, or important or high-profile activists.
“Our JVP members have no doubt about the justice of fighting for equality and freedom for all people in Israel/Palestine, and the legitimacy of BDS to bring that closer. We will not be bullied by these attempts to punish us for a principled political stance that increasing numbers of Jews and non-Jews support worldwide,” Rebecca Vilkomerson, Jewish Voice for Peace executive director, said in a statement issued Saturday.
“As someone with considerable family in Israel, this policy will be a personal hardship. But I am also heartened by this indicator of the BDS movement’s growing strength, and hope that it will bring the day closer when just as I go to visit my friends and family in Israel, so will Palestinian friends and colleagues be able to return home,” Vilkomerson said in the statement.