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Revealed: Israel’s Travel Ban Against BDS Activists

Monday, March 27, 2017 8:34
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21st Century Wire says…

Much has been made of the recent proposed White House ‘travel ban’ barring entry to the US from 6 Muslim majority countries, enacted on the basis of national security. The Executive Order is currently on hold after being contested by a Hawaii Federal court.

The White House move triggered a media storm and protest backlash, as critics dubbed the move by President Trump a “Muslim ban,” believing that it’s discriminatory in nature by excluding entry at the border based on one’s of religion.

But what if this was based on one’s politics, or one’s activism? That is exactly what Israel has enacted – a travel ban against any foreigners who are public advocates of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) protest movement.

Initially, Israeli authorities are claiming this is only for ‘public advocates’ of BDS, but can they guarantee this new barrier will not be extended to include anyone who has posted criticism of Israel on social media, or to those who support end to the Israeli’s occupation of Palestine, or even to people who are critical of Israeli foreign policy? Where does this new political travel ban end?

The move by Tel Aviv, has even caused splits among US liberal and Jewish groups. The Atlanta Jewish Times said:

“Israel did itself no public relations favors when it enacted a law March 6 that bans foreigners who are public advocates of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement from visiting the country.

“Criticism came from some Jewish organizations, including the Union for Reform Judaism and the Anti-Defamation League, and from such media organizations as The New York Times. All argued that Israel was undermining its own democratic ideals by stifling dissent, particularly regarding settlements.”

The Atlanta Jewish Times went on to defend Israel’s political ban, citing national security concerns, claiming it’s justified to treat foreigners any way it likes, separately from how it might deal with its political dissidents at home:

“Israel has not outlawed pro-BDS donations or speech. As an actual liberal democracy, Israel is not silencing or limiting its own citizens at all.

But a nation has no responsibility to protect the civil liberties of foreigners. It has every right to just say no to admitting anyone who has said or done anything perceived as a threat to that nation.

We’re not arguing that it was smart of Israel to pass this law. As the criticism of the measure shows, it plays into the hands of Israel’s enemies by giving them another stick with which to bash the nation and another opportunity to draw a picture of an alternate reality in which Israel is just like the many oppressive, authoritarian nations around it.”

Far from exuding national confidence in its policies, more than anything this shows a high level of national insecurity.

When you drill right down through this issue however, you can quickly see the endgame which Israel is heading towards. As Israeli security services control every single access point into occupied Palestine, the new travel ban and any other iterations of it, will most certainly be used to restrict foreign access into Palestine, by specifically targeting those individuals who support the Palestinian cause.

Such a policy only serves to further suffocate Palestinians from outside support, and to deny foreigners from witnessing the daily crimes of an oppressive Israeli regime in the region.

READ MORE ISRAEL NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Israel Files


21st Century Wire is an alternative news agency designed to enlighten, inform and educate readers about world events which are not always covered in the mainstream media.



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