Knesset passes law banning BDS activists from entering Israel

The Israeli Knesset passed a controversial law that prohibits the Israeli Interior Ministry from issuing entry visas to BDS activists. Right-wing politicians welcomed the new law while left-wing politicians criticized it.
BDS activists Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

This evening (Monday), the Knesset passed a law that prohibits the Israeli Interior Ministry from issuing entry visas and residency permits to foreigners who support the boycott of Israel. However, the Israeli interior minister will be authorized to grant such permits in specific cases.

“Over the past few years, the calls for the boycott of the State of Israel have increased,” the text of the law reads. “It appears that this is a new front in the war against Israel.” MK Roy Folkman (Kulanu), who signed the bill that was proposed by former MK Yinon Magal (Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi), welcomed the passing of the law: “It’s possible to feel national pride and also to believe in human rights. It’s also possible to protect the name and honor of the State of Israel.”

MK Ayman Odeh (Joint Arab List) criticized the passing of the law. “I was in the U.S. two weeks ago and I saw thousands of Jewish people supporting the boycott of the settlements,” he said. “Those people are not against the country but against the occupation. I am against the occupation and support the boycott of the settlements.”

MK Manuel Trajtenberg (Zionist Union) also spoke out against the new law. “I’ve been dealing with the BDS for ten years already and I’ve brought some of them [BDS activists] to the country in order to show them that they are wrong,” he said. “What are you guys suggesting? To enter the bunker? To close the door and throw away the key? I’m embarrassed by this.”

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