Country Bars Enemies from Entry. Yours Would Do the Same
New York Times
its founding in 1948, Israel has fought a war nearly every decade. Now, in
addition to continuing to defend ourselves against physical attack from
neighbors who fundamentally reject our existence, we have been forced to battle
a new enemy.
one lacks tanks and missiles, but it, too, poses a serious threat to the Jewish
state. And we aren’t hesitating to fight back.
boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel officially began in
2005 with a call from some 170 Palestinian organizations. But B.D.S. is a new
name for an age-old strategy: demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish people.
By exploiting the language of human rights and distorting history, the movement
aims to make the case that the Jewish state doesn’t have a right to exist in
the Middle East.
leaders wage political, economic and legal warfare to hurt Israeli individuals
and companies wherever they can: on college campuses, in labor unions and even
in churches. They say they are interested in promoting peace and merely aim to
criticize Israeli policies.
Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the movement, has made its intentions
clear: “Definitely, most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of
Palestine. No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian,
will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine,” he has said. In other words,
B.D.S. leaders themselves make no attempt to hide that their goal is not
changing Israeli policy, but eliminating the country.
any normal democracy, Israel has as its No. 1 priority defending its citizens.
Barring those seeking our destruction from entering our territory is almost an
obvious step. All sovereign states decide who can or cannot enter their
Israel last March passed legislation giving immigration authorities the ability
to deny entry to those active in the B.D.S. campaign. This month, the government
published a list of groups it considered prominent in the campaign, including
the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, B.D.S. Italy and Jewish Voice for
Peace, and it gave immigration authorities the option of barring individuals
active in such groups.
logic behind this new policy is sound: We won’t welcome enemy soldiers into
our territory. If you actively work for our destruction, which these individuals
most certainly do, you can’t come into our home.
are framing this new policy as a blanket ban of certain groups. But this is
another case of the B.D.S. movement spreading lies. The law gives the
immigration authorities the option to ban individuals; it doesn’t mandate they
is the truth: Similar procedures are common practice in most democratic
countries. In the United States, for instance, the I-94W form (issued by the
Department of Homeland Security) asks visitors if they have criminal records, if
they were involved in espionage or if they helped Nazi Germany. If the answer to
any of these questions is positive, that person may be refused entry. The same
principles guided Israel’s decision.
me be absolutely clear: Israel is a thriving democracy and we welcome people who
disagree with our policies. If you oppose the settlements and want to debate the
future of Judea and Samaria, otherwise known as the West Bank, I welcome you to
come and learn firsthand about the reality on the ground.
the B.D.S. movement does not oppose specific Israeli policies or its current
government. The goal is to wipe Israel off the map. Its website refers to a
struggle happening “for nearly 70 years.” This timeline sends us back to
1948 and Israel’s inception, not to policy debates about borders stemming from
the Six Day War in 1967. The conclusion is easy: The movement is not about the
future of Judea and Samaria. It is about Tel Aviv and Haifa, and its leadership
wants nothing short of our destruction.
movement’s leaders don’t hide their goals, and some of their organizations
even collaborate with convicted terrorists in their attempts to destroy Israel.
Jewish Voice for Peace is one example. Last April, it featured Rasmea Odeh as a
speaker at its national meeting. Ms. Odeh murdered innocent Israelis in 1969.
She is a convicted terrorist found guilty of immigration fraud by an American
court after concealing her role in two bombings in Israel. Yet the
executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace said that the group was
“honored to hear from her.”
B.D.S. activists try to hide behind the mask of “human rights,” more and
more people understand the truth: The movement is anti-Israel and anti-peace.
Several American states have passed anti-B.D.S. laws and resolutions. Cities in
Spain, Germany and other European countries have also acted against the
movement. These places refuse to accept bids for contracts from companies
supporting the movement, and some stopped doing business with European banks
involved in the campaign. They understand that opposing B.D.S. means standing up
decision to expose those out to hurt us sends a clear message: Those who seek
our destruction are not welcome in our home. Any other country in a similar
situation would do the same.