The Israel government has released a list of 20 organisations whose members have been banned from entering the country. The activist groups have been blacklisted for their support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement which aims to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and compel it to adhere to international law.
Released by the Strategic Affairs Ministry, the list features various groups from Europe, the US, Latin America and South Africa that it claims, are causing "significant, ongoing and consistent harm to Israel". The ban follows a law that went into effect in 2017, which allows the government to ban any activist who "knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel".
"The boycott organisations must know that the state of Israel will act against them," Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement. "The creation of this list is another step in our struggle against the incitement and lies of the boycott organisations."
Of the 20 names, one that stood out was the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). The organisation worked actively to help rescue Jews stranded in Nazi Germany during the Second World War and its ban has been widely criticised.
"In 1947 we were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in part for our support for Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust. We will continue our legacy of speaking truth to power and standing for peace and justice without exception in Israel, occupied Palestine, and around the world," the AFSC said in a statement.
"All people, including Palestinians, have a right to live in safety and peace and have their human rights respected. For 51 years, Israel has denied Palestinians in the occupied territories their fundamental human rights, in defiance of international law. While Israeli Jews enjoy full civil and political rights, prosperity, and relative security, Palestinians under Israeli control enjoy few or none of those rights or privileges.
"The ban on entry to Israel for activists who support the Palestinian-led BDS movement is part of a larger effort by the Israeli government to silence and constrain human rights and anti-occupation activists," it continued, adding that the group would continue to support Palestinian-led boycott "as long as these and other human rights violations persist".
What is the American Friends Service Committee?
The American Friends Service Committee is a group that was founded by the Religious Society of Friends aka Quakers in order to work for peace and social justice in the US and internationally. Started in 1917, the organisation helped victims of WWI and provided aid for civilians affected by the Vietnam War.
It fought alongside other American groups for civil rights and desegregation in the US, and has been working with Native Americans, migrants, refugees and the poor.
In 1947 AFSC received the Nobel Peace Prize along with the British Friends Service Council (Quaker Peace and Social Witness) for their work "from the nameless to the nameless".
Complete list of groups blacklisted by Israel
■ France-Palestine Solidarity Association
■ BDS France
■ BDS Italy
■ The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine
■ Friends of Al-Aqsa
■ Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
■ The Palestine Committee of Norway
■ Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden
■ Palestine Solidarity Campaign
■ War on Want
■ BDS Kampagne
■ American Friends Service Committee
■ American Muslims for Palestine
■ Code Pink
■ Jewish Voice for Peace
■ National Students for Justice in Palestine
■ US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
■ BDS Chile
■ BDS South Africa
■ BDS National Committee