Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry was initially created as a ministry whose sole purpose was to try to talk up a war with Iran. These days the ministry’s purview is expanding, and Minister Gilad Erdan was responsible for a new, and controversial ban on members of a list of NGOs that are seen as pro-BDS, favoring boycotts to protest Israeli misdeeds.
This has fueled a lot of opposition backlash, with many waring that it’s just going to further distance those NGOs from the situation inside Israel and make changing their minds harder. Yair Lapid called the bill “idiotic,” saying it was absurd to try to fight boycotts with another boycott.
Included on the 20 banned NGOs is the Quaker American Friends Service Committee, which won a 1947 Nobel Peace Prize for helping refugees flee the Holocaust during WW2. US-based Jewish Voice for Peace was also on the blacklist, which Lapid say was particularly dumb since, as a group with Jewish members, they could all come to Israel under Israeli law irrespective of this ban.
Erdan defended the move, arguing anyone who supports BDS is trying to “do Israel harm,” and banning them protests Israeli citizens. He also added that anyone who criticized the move had proven they are unfit to lead Israel.because of that position.
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