Hard-line MK Plans Bill to Bar Pro-boycott Foreigners From Israel

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Pro-Palestinian activists at Brussels national airport, April 15, 2012.Credit: Reuters

Hard-line lawmaker Yinon Magal is planning to propose a Knesset bill that would forbid foreign citizens who advocate boycotting Israel from entering the country. The bill would also bar Jews who call for boycotts from exercising the “Law of Return” and immigrating to the country.  

Magal, a member of the right-wing Habayit Hayehudi party, announced Monday that he had submitted the bill for considerations and that “a considerable number” of MKs have already signed on to his proposed legislation.

Tweeting that “enough is enough” Magal said that pro-boycott activists must be barred from the country in order to prevent them from undermining Israel from within its borders.

The only way they would be permitted to enter or immigrate would be if they were officially declared a special case. The proposed legislation would create a mechanism by which an exception to the rule could be granted by the Interior Ministry, which would empower them to permit boycott advocates to visit or immigrate, according to the Hebrew-language website NRG. There is no indication however, what the criteria for becoming an exception to the rule would be.   

Magal explained his intentions in a Facebook post Monday: "In the coming days I will be submitting this bill: Any foreign citizen who calls for a boycott on Israel will be barred from entering the country, except with a special exception granted by the Interior Minister."

"Those who are fighting against us won’t be allowed to come here. Generally, we are talking about extreme left-wing activists in the BDS movement who come here to connect to local activists who are no less extreme and continue to work to undermine the country," Magal's post continued.

In the same post he wrote that "Regarding Jews who are permitted to immigrate under the 'Law of Return,' in their case the Interior Minister can also make an exception, but in principle, they must first prove that they are not working towards the destruction of the state of Israel."

Advocating boycotts can already get Israelis into legal trouble, thanks to the country’s controversial 2011 “anti-boycott law” which allows civil damage suits to be filed against any person or entity that calls for an economic, cultural or academic boycott of Israel or settlements.

MK Yinon Magal answering online readers' questions at the Haaretz offices, February 2015.Credit: David Bachar

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