As part of a renewed effort, the Strategic Affairs Ministry has listed approximately 20 groups that are part of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement and will work with the Ministry of the Interior to block members of these groups from entering Israel.
Hadashot aired a televised report on Saturday which said this will include groups from Italy, France, South Africa, and Scandinavia. Also banned will be the extreme-left Jewish American group, Jewish Voices for Peace. According to the Hadashot report, the ministry will begin enforcing the ban in March.
In addition to the list, the Israeli government announced on Friday that a new anti-BDS effort will be led by a non-profit organization composed of government officials and private donors. The ministry has already set aside $36 million for the project. The private sector is expected to provide the rest of the cost of the project which is estimated to cost a total of $75 million. According to the report, at least 10 Jewish philanthropists have pledged to at least match that sum, with some promising to give $2 and $3 to any dollar put in by the Israeli government beyond the initial funding.
The project will work to counter BDS pressure applied to artists, performers, and commercial enterprises not to engage with Israel. It will focus on lobbying, public campaigns, solidarity visits to Israel for high-profile opinion-makers, social media campaigns and coordinated activities with pro-Israel organizations in North America and Europe.