About a week after Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry published a list of 20 BDS-linked organizations whose members are now banned from entering Israel, an Israeli group that supports the Jewish residents of the West Bank is claiming that the anti-Israel activists are seriously upset over the list.

BDS activists demonstrating

BDS activists demonstrating Photo Credit: Flickr

According to Lev HaOlam, an Israeli organization that advocates for the Jewish business owners in the West Bank amid the rising BDS efforts, anti-Israel boycott groups are up in arms about the recently-published list banning their members from entering Israel. The list, released earlier this month by the Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry, includes 20 BDS-linked organizations, most of them from Europe and the US. There are a few groups from South America and one from South Africa as well.

Lev HaOlam claims that many organizations that support the boycott are worried about the blacklist. The Israeli group reached this conclusion after its members reviewed the Facebook pages and websites of anti-Israel groups and found posts and statements about the blacklist.

Kamel Hawwash, an outspoken British-Palestinian BDS activist in the UK, wrote in an op-ed that he and Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, are “hit doubly hard by the ban.” American Muslims for Palestine, an organization based in Illinois that is among the 20 groups on the list, called the ban “assault on free speech.”

Nati Rom, chairman of Lev Haolam, stated: “We are pleased and grateful for the brave step taken by Minister Erdan. This is a step on the path toward eliminating the organizations that harm Israel. In our review of the Facebook pages, we encountered a lot of anti-Semitic comments posted by activists and some of them even included inciting calls for violent acts and threats.”

“This latest activity exposed the real faces of the organizations and it proves how important it is to close the gates of the country to these people,” he added. “Their stress and concerns over this action show that Minister Erdan is applying pressure in the right spot.”