AJC Questions Ban on BDS Proponents Entering Israel

March 7, 2017 – New York – AJC is troubled by a new law, adopted by the Knesset yesterday, that will bar foreign nationals who have publicly expressed support for boycotting Israel or who work on behalf of organizations supporting the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement from entering Israel.

The measure, which also states that the Minister of Interior may grant exceptions, passed its third and final reading in the Knesset by a vote of 46-28, and became law.

“Every nation, of course, is entitled to regulate who can enter, and AJC, a longtime, staunch friend of Israel and opponent of the BDS movement fully sympathizes with the underlying desire to defend the legitimacy of the State of Israel,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “Nevertheless, as history has amply shown throughout the democratic world, barring entry to otherwise qualified visitors on the basis of their political views will not by itself defeat BDS, nor will it help Israel’s image as the beacon of democracy in the Middle East it is, or offer opportunities to expose them to the exciting and pulsating reality of Israel.”

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