Israel is fighting back against those who are operating to undermine it.
Israel announced on Monday it will bar the entry of seven European officials due to their efforts to promote boycotts of the Jewish state.
The officials, who are all French, are part of a larger delegation of 20 European dignitaries scheduled to visit Israel and the Palestinian authority (PA) next week
They had announced that one of the primary goals of the trip was to meet high-profile Palestinian arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti, who is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli jail, as well as offer support for other Palestinian prisoners.
“This is not the first time that I have prevented the entry of boycott activists who are against Israel,” Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said. “This time, however, we are talking about a senior group of European officials who come to act against Israel.”
In August 2016, Israel established an inter-ministerial team tasked with tracking down and deporting anti-Israel activists who come to the Jewish State for the purpose of harming the country. The team also works to prevent the future entry of activists who operate for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.
Israel acted on its new directives for the first time at the end of the year, denying entry to BDS activist Isabel Phiri, Associate General Secretary for the World Council of Churches (WCC) because of her work with the group to malign Israel and damage it through an economic boycott.
Upon making that decision, Deri said that the authority given to him as a minister was intended specifically for dealing with visitors who arrive in Israel under a false pretense with the intention to encourage anti-Israel activity.
Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said he was particularly concerned about the European group’s request to meet with Barghouti.
“These are senior politicians who support a boycott against Israel and are actively advancing it,” he said.
The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts of Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent protest against the so-called “Israeli occupation.” Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism and that its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.
By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff