Israel denies entry to prominent British boycott activist

Israel's parliament recently passed a law barring entry to supporters of the boycott movement.

Published: 14th March 2017 04:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2017 04:22 AM   |  A+A-


JERUSALEM: Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs said it denied a prominent British boycott activist's entry into the country. Revital Yakin-Karkovsky, a senior ministry official, said yesterday that Hugh Lanning of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign was prohibited Sunday from entering Israel because his organization had close ties to the Hamas militant group and was one of the leading forces seeking to delegitimize Israel.

Israel's parliament recently passed a law barring entry to supporters of the boycott movement. The measure drew fierce criticism from dovish groups who condemned it as the latest in a series of steps to silence critics and ministry officials struggled to explain how it would be enforced. The boycott movement, also called the BDS movement, advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel in what supporters say is a nonviolent way to promote the Palestinian struggle for independence.

It has urged businesses, artists and universities to sever ties with Israel and includes thousands of volunteers around the world. The new law barring BDS supporters has yet to take effect. Yakin-Karkovsky said it would take weeks to formulate and Lanning was barred based on existing policies. "Whoever acts against Israel should understand that the rules of the game have changed. No sane country would allow entry to key boycott activists working to harm the country's core interests and lead to its isolation," said Gilad Erdan, the minister of strategic affairs.

Ben Jamal, the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, called Lanning the "first victim" of the new law. "A democratic country does not behave in the way Israel is behaving," he said. Yakin-Karkovsky said it was reasonable for a country to refuse welcome to foreigners with a declared intent of undermining it strategically and causing it harm. She pointed to a similar 1971 immigration law in Britain that granted authorities wide discretion to decline entry to, or expel, foreigners when it relates to the "public interest" or security considerations. Israel says the boycott campaign goes beyond Israel's occupation of lands claimed by the Palestinians and masks a deeper aim of delegitimizing or even destroying the country.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp