Monday, October 19, 2015

Boycotters are banned from entering Israel

(JPost) A bill calling to ban people who call to boycott Israel from entering the country received the Ministerial Committee for Legislation's approval on Monday.

The initiative by MK Yinon Magal (Bayit Yehudi) states that anyone who is not a citizen or a permanent resident and calls for or encourages boycotts of Israel or belongs to an organization that does so will not be able to receive a visa or residency permit.

"It cannot be that someone who is trying to harm the State of Israel can enter it freely," Magal said after the bill was approved.

According to Magal, "anyone who calls to boycott Israel is using terrorism against it, and it is unthinkable that he would be allowed to move freely throughout the country without being bothered."

MKs from Zionist Union, Yesh Atid, Kulanu, United Torah Judaism, Shas and the Likud co-sponsored Magal’s initiative.

The bill defines "boycott" according to the 2011 Anti-Boycott Bill as “Deliberate avoidance of economic, social or academic ties or ties to a person or other body just because of his connection to the State of Israel, its institutions or regions under its control, in order to harm it economically, social or academically.”

The words “regions under its control” would make the bill, should it become law, applicable to people who specifically call to boycott the West Bank.

The bill also does not delve into the possibility of contradicting the Law of Return, which states that anyone Jewish or with at least one Jewish grandparent can become a citizen of Israel, in cases in which such a person calls to boycott Israel or the West Bank.

The proposal also allows the interior minister to make exceptions to the law under special circumstances, which are not listed, but could be added in legislative committees.

The bill’s explanatory portion points out that in recent years there has been an increase in calls to boycott Israel.

“It seems that [boycotts are] a new front in the war against Israel, for which the state, thus far, has avoided properly preparing,” it reads. “This bill is meant to prevent people or representatives of companies and organizations that call to boycott Israel to act within our territory to promote their ideas.”