Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced on Sunday that they would assemble a team responsible for deporting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists that encourage a boycott of Israel and for preventing the entry of such activists into the country.
“Boycott activists should not be allowed to enter Israel,” said Minister Erdan. “Our legal team will soon present additional conclusions and we will take additional measures against boycott organizations and activists. Boycotting Israel has to come with a price.”
Dozens of organizations promoting the boycott are currently operating inside Israel. According to Ministers Erdan and Deri, the new team will combat the phenomenon of activists frequently arriving in Judea and Samaria to incite local residents against Israeli security forces.
Several Israeli and Christian organizations claimed that the new announcements were the fruits of their efforts. The Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum led by Father Gabriel Naddaf, the Zionist Foundation For Israel, and the DMU Project (the activists refused to reveal the meaning of the acronym) claimed that they had exposed anti-Israel activists operating in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, including volunteers of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) in particular.
“The EAPPI belongs to the World Council of Churches (WCC), an organization which promotes BDS,” Amit Barak, who coordinates between the three organizations, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “The group monitors Israeli soldiers and police forces in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, thus increasing global anti-Semitism and demonizing Israel under the purported guise of ‘peace activists.’”
“We met with officials in the Judea and Samaria Police, in the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, and in the Interior Ministry, and we are thrilled to see that all the authorities have taken this seriously and understand the absurdity through which foreign activists take advantage of Israeli democracy in order to try and weaken it,” added Barak.
Father Gabriel Naddaf, spiritual leader of the Aramean Christian community in Israel, praised the Israeli authorities for their new measure. “I will continue to act and expose any organization that pretends to be Christian while acting against the State of Israel, the safest place for Christians in the Middle East,” Naddaf told TPS.
“These organizations attempt to weaken Israel in its battle against regional terrorism, while taking cynical advantage of the Christian religion, rewriting history, and harming true coexistence,” added Naddaf. “They also damage Jewish-Christian relations in Israel and all over the world and increase anti-Semitism.”
“The battle against BDS begins with those coming to sabotage Israel from within,” concluded Interior Minister Deri. “We are obligated to do everything to stop the boycott and to clearly state that we will not permit anyone to harm Israel. The establishment of this team is an important step in this direction.”