Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Boycott Ban

From the DW:
"Israel approves travel ban on activists that call for boycott"

Human rights groups have attacked the new law as "thought control," saying it would affect Palestinian supporters. Israel has spent 30 million euros on fighting boycott campaigners.  Opposition and human rights groups on Tuesday slammed a newly approved Israeli law that bans entry to foreigners who support boycotting the country. Israel's parliament passed the bill, which withholds visas and residence permits from people who have "knowingly issued a public call to boycott the state of Israel or pledged to take part in such a boycott," a parliament statement said late on Monday.
For decades Israel faced boycott calls for its 50 year occupation of the Palestinian Territories, but the movement known as BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) raised its profile in recent years with help of celebrity backers such as Pink Floyd's Roger Waters. Government ministers defended the law, which goes into force in a few days, as a necessary response to what it sees as a strategic and anti-Semitic threat, but rights group criticized it as a suppression of free speech. "We think that border control should not be used as thought control," Hagai El-Ad, executive director of prominent Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, told journalists. He noted that Israel also controlled all but one border crossing into Palestinian territories. He said the law could "absolutely" affect his group's work.  The law defines a boycott as "deliberately avoiding economic, cultural or academic ties with another person or body solely because of their affinity with the state of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage." Supporters of the the bill said it was a matter of self-defense, saying Israel should not welcome those who want to harm the country. "If someone demeans me, I do not let them into my home," said David Amsalem, a lawmaker from Netanyahu's Likud party, according to centrist broadsheet "Jerusalem Post." Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan defended the law on Tuesday, saying "every country has the right to determine who enters its borders." He called it "another step in our struggle against those who seek to delegitimize Israel while hiding behind the language of human rights, and they do it from time to time." Last year, the country allocated 118 million shekels ($32 million, 30 million euros) to fight the BDS movement.

^ Whether you agree with this new law or not one that that is clear is that every country in the world has a right to decide who can enter its borders. I personally, don't see an issue with the new law. Foreigners aren't given the same rights as citizens in most countries and are required to obey every law or not be admitted (or if in-country than to leave.) It would be different if it discriminated against citizens in their own country. Gaza is governed by the internationally-recognized terrorist group: Hamas and so any one who supports them are also supporting terrorists. Until the Palestinians in Gaza reject Hamas then their supporters around the world shouldn't be allowed into Israel. It is a little different with the West Bank. ^


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