BDS Blacklist: Betcha Don't Know Who's on It! Or Why?
Michael Springmann Arab America Contributing Writer
On January 7, 2018, Ha’aretz, an Israeli newspaper, published a list of 20 organizations the Israeli government had previously blacklisted. Additionally, Israel is denying entry to members of the groups, including, the American Friends Service Committee (a Quaker assembly with a Nobel Peace Prize), the Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Why? Because, once there, those people would “harm [Israeli] citizens.”
As Ha’aretz noted, “Interior Minister Arye Dery, whose ministry is responsible for implementing the list, said: ‘These people are trying to exploit the law and our hospitality to act against Israel and to defame the country. I will act against this by every means.'”
The ban is global, covering groups in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. Apparently, the Israelis know the complete memberships of the banned assemblies. They’ve stated that people in leading positions will be prohibited from entry but others might be allowed in. Prominent people in other positions such as mayors, politicians like Jeremy Corbyn, UK Labour Party Leader, who have supported BDS, will also be kept out.
The UK Guardian published a scathing attack by War on Want’s Asad Rehman on this latest iteration of Israeli policy towards Palestine and its supporters. On January 9, 2018, he wrote: “This repressive move is borrowed straight from the playbook of South Africa’s apartheid regime, which had the same aim of silencing critics.” Noting that leaders of right-wing governments, such as Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister and Donald Trump, U.S. President, seek to gag opponents of their policies, the Guardian‘s opinion piece said:
“Similarly, the bans and blacklists that we face today are only a shadow of what Palestinians endure every single day. This year we remember that it is 70 years since more than 800,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes; they are still denied their right to return to Israel.
Over these seven decades, Israel has imposed travel bans, evictions, and home demolitions that have become part of daily life for Palestinian families. So are arbitrary arrest and detention without trial, collective punishment, violence, and torture without redress.
This, then, is the origin and driving force behind BDS-Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions.
BOYCOTTS involve withdrawing support for Israel and Israeli and international companies that are involved in the violation of Palestinian human rights, as well as complicit Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions.
DIVESTMENT campaigns urge banks, local councils, churches, pension funds and universities to withdraw investments from all Israeli companies and from international companies involved in violating Palestinian rights.
SANCTIONS campaigns pressure governments to fulfill their legal obligation to hold Israel to account including by ending military trade, free-trade agreements and expelling Israel from international forums such as the UN and FIFA.
COMMENT: Many people and organizations frequently opine that BDS is succeeding. Wishful thinking and optimism are staples of the Western way. However, given this latest round of Izzie hate crimes, there might just be a ray of hope in the Zionist Darkness.
Michael Springmann is an attorney, author, and political commentator. He has written Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World and a second book Goodbye, Europe? Hello, Chaos? Merkel’s Migrant Bomb. Both are available on Amazon. The books’ website is: www.michaelspringmann.com