Bill being Drafted to Bar International Peace Activists from Entering Israel
Knesset Member Yariv Levin, of the right-wing Likud party, together with the pro-settlement group The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, are currently working on an “anti-subversive” bill aimed at anarchists and supporters of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
If approved the law would allow Israel’s Interior Ministry to bar international activists from entering Israel. The law would apply restrictions to anyone who acts against Israel, denies the Holocaust, works to boycott Israel and/or attempts to place Israeli leaders on international trial for what they did in the line of duty, reported Arutz Sheva.
“The suggested legislation would apply to anyone who incites against the country, carries out verbal or physical attacks, organizes hostile activities or tries to interfere with foreign diplomatic and trade relations,” the news daily reported.
“The aim of the bill is to give the country the tools to deal with hostile elements that work against Israel from within the country and who endanger the security of Israeli citizens as well as foreign trade and diplomatic ties,” explained MK Levin.
“Many people why call themselves call themselves ‘peace activists’, along with all other Israel-haters who often are called ‘human rights activists,’ often act against the rights of Israeli citizens and are free to travel in the country without any restrictions,” added Nochi Eyal, director of the Legal Forum.
This is not the first anti-freedom of speech bill aimed at those critical of Israeli policies.
In summer 2010 the Knesset began hearings on a “Boycott Bill” that was meant to discourage participation, particularly by Israelis, in boycotts of Israel.
Under the new law, any group could sue for damages of up to NIS 30,000 from anyone who launched a boycott against them, or incited for boycott, without having to prove that damage was indeed caused, according to the Israeli news daily Haaretz. An additional sum could then be demanded once damages were proven.
The proposal has yet to move past the initial hearing phase.