News and analysis from Palestine, Israel and beyond.

Israel’s Deplorable Boycott Of BDS Supporters Is Just The Beginning

ver the weekend, in a decision redolent of the repressive policies of the old Soviet Union, the Israeli government blacklisted 20 international organizations, officially barring entry to these groups’ officials and activists expressly for their peaceful opposition to the Israeli government’s policies.

It would be bad enough – for all who cherish progressive democratic values like free speech – if Israel were merely a sovereign government blocking access to its sovereign territory by people it doesn’t like, as the blacklist’s defenders are arguing in unison. But this blacklist is something far more sinister. As an occupying power, Israel is using this blacklist as a powerful weapon in its increasingly muscular arsenal of repressive occupation policies – this one designed to further control and isolate the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.

The past 50 years of occupation are grounded in and enabled by a massive body of Israeli laws and policies aimed at legitimizing Israeli actions and promoting Israeli objectives, almost universally for the benefit of settlers and at the expense of Palestinians. Recent years have seen the advent of new laws and policies targeted, like never before, on formally legitimizing and legalizing occupation while delegitimizing all those who challenge it. Examples include Israel’s Knesset voting to erase even the pretense of the rule of law in order to legitimize land theft and settlement construction; Israeli authorities clamping down on virtually all forms of Palestinian popular resistance – including non-violent protest and unarmed protest by minors – to a degree not seen since before Oslo; and Israel adopting policies and passing laws designed to [undermine] ( and even ban Israeli civil society organizations whose work challenges the occupation and shines a light on Israel’s actions.

Read the rest of the article at The Forward.