Blacklist a tactic borrowed from apartheid
January 10, 2018
South Africa: The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel movement has come out saying the blacklist, banning 20 international groups in solidarity with Palestinians and African movements against colonialism and racism is an act of “paranoia” and Israel is a regime in panic.
On Sunday, Israel issued a list of organizations whose activists were banned from entering the country.
The BDS was added to the list by the Israeli government’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, headed by Gilad Erdan.
Speaking to Africa Daily about the ban, Allie Komape, Media Liason Officer from BDS South Africa said the blacklist is straight from apartheid which cannot be condoned.
“What we have been saying constantly is this is the state of Israel in paranoia. We have been also saying, this is this is what happens when a movement is growing strong and they can’t contain it anymore. This is similar to what was done during apartheid in South Africa, They blacklisted organisations and banned activists not to enter the country.
“So they are a regime in panic. They are being paranoid. And what is also important to note is that there are also a number of organisations that are also banned from going to Israel,” said Komape.
According to Erdan, who’s department is responsible for countering the international BDS movement, members of the blacklisted organizations will not be allowed to enter the country.
The list also includes European, American , and Latin American organizations.
BDS South Africa said in a statement: “Among the 20 groups blacklisted by Israel is the 101 year old American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization that was honoured with the 1947 Nobel Peace Prize for assisting and rescuing Jewish victims fromthe Nazi regime during World War 2.”
In response to the AFSC’s inclusion on Israel’s BDS Blacklist to list Kerri Kennedy, an official for the AFSC said: “We answered the call for divestment from apartheid South Africa and we have done the same with the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions from Palestinians who have faced decades of human rights violations."
Two well-known UK organisations namely the; UK charity and advocacy organisation War on Want, and the UK-based Palestine Solidarity campaign were also added to the list.
Director for War on Want commented saying: “This blacklist is a repressive tactic borrowed from the same playbook used by the apartheid regime in South Africa, when it tried to censor critics. Such attempts to silence human rights defenders through blacklisting and targeted harassment failed then as they will now.”
Furthermore, between January 10 to 18, 2018, The BDS South Africa’s spokesperson, Kwara Kekana, will as well to attend the international solidarity conference in Western Sahara.
Kamape said as part of the agenda, Kekana will be showcasing that BDS South Africa is standing in solidarity with Palestinians and African Movements against colonialism and racism.
“The conference is surrounded around the issue of solidarity and the purpose is to call for unity, freedom and equality. So part of what Kekana will be doing is to show solidarity, campaign for South Africa and our history and showcase how we are we are acting in solidarity with all Palestinians," he said.
He added:"The visit is to as well form ties with other countries that are involved and want to get involved, because the BDS is a large movement and BDS South Africa is just local charter of a larger movement.
“There’s always a need for various countries to establish a BDS charter. So there will also be discussions around establishing other BDS charters in different countries. And for countries that are interested we will offer assistance on how we they can establish thier own charter."