Bayit Yehudi MK proposes bill to keep boycotters from entering Israel

Ban would also apply to those calling to boycott West Bank; proposal has broad support in coalition and opposition.

By
September 12, 2015 20:51
1 minute read.
Anti-Israel protest

Protesters call for boycott of Israel [file]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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People who call for boycotting Israel will not be able to receive visas or residency permits if a bill proposed by MK Yinon Magal (Bayit Yehudi) becomes law.

“The absurd situation in which a person can be active in boycotting Israel and harming it abroad and then come to Israel and be accepted with open arms must be stopped,” Magal said. “A country that wants to live cannot allow such a reality.”

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MKs from Zionist Union, Yesh Atid, Kulanu, United Torah Judaism, Shas and the Likud co-sponsored Magal’s initiative, which states that anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of Israel will not be allowed to enter Israel if he or she, or a company or organization he or she represents, calls to boycott Israel.

Boycott is defined according to the 2011 Anti-Boycott Bill as “Deliberate avoidance of economic, social or academic ties or ties to a person or other body just because of his connection to the State of Israel, its institutions or regions under its control, in order to harm it economically, social or academically.”

The words “regions under its control” would make the bill, should it become law, applicable to people who specifically call to boycott the West Bank.

The bill also does not delve into the possibility of contradicting the Law of Return, which states that anyone Jewish or with at least one Jewish grandparent can become a citizen of Israel, in cases in which such a person calls to boycott Israel or the West Bank.

The proposal also allows the interior minister to make exceptions to the law under special circumstances, which are not listed, but could be added in legislative committees.

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The bill’s explanatory portion points out that in recent years there has been an increase in calls to boycott Israel.

“It seems that [boycotts are] a new front in the war against Israel, for which the state, thus far, has avoided properly preparing,” it reads. “This bill is meant to prevent people or representatives of companies and organizations that call to boycott Israel to act within our territory to promote their ideas.”

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