WASHINGTON, DC, January 7, 2018 – Today, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) learned through media reports that it, along with 19 other organizations, including several members of USCPR’s broad national coalition, have been added to a blacklist of organizations compiled by the Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry. The stated purpose of the blacklist is to deny members of the organizations entry into Palestine/Israel due to their support for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) tactics.
The publication of this list is part of an increasing effort by the State of Israel to repress the growing movement for Palestinian rights around the globe, as exhibited by the inclusion of organizations in the US, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. This blatant discrimination against individuals for their political viewpoints will mean that Palestinians who are members or staff of these organizations will be denied access to their families and loved ones in another effort by the State of Israel to sever their connection to their homeland. Countless activists across the world will be unable to visit a land they care about and people whose rights they work to defend.
USCPR Executive Director Yousef Munayyer said, “We wear this designation as a badge of honor. When Israel, which aims to portray itself to the world as liberal and democratic, blacklists activists dedicated to nonviolent organizing and dissent, it only further exposes itself as a fraud. It is clear to us how effective building the movement for Palestinian rights around the world has become. Our commitment to the rights of Palestinians, and our demand to hold Israel to account for the denial of these rights, is unwavering. As in the effort against apartheid in South Africa, this blacklist and repressive efforts like it will be mere footnotes in the historic march toward freedom, justice and equality.”
Banning entry is by no means a new tactic in the maintenance of Israeli apartheid, but a policy that Israel has been enacting for decades, first and foremost by denying Palestinian refugees their right to return, and then by denying supporters of Palestinian rights. Ramah Kudaimi, USCPR Director of Grassroots Organizing, was banned in July 2016: “By publishing this list, Israel is just openly admitting to what it has been doing for years. Palestinians first and foremost have been denied the right to their homeland since the creation of Israel. As BDS campaigns have increased worldwide with people of conscience taking action in support of Palestinian rights, Israel’s desperate response to the inevitable collapse of its apartheid regime is to criminalize and punish activists. We must and will continue organizing to end US support for Israel in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice, and equality because it is clear from Israel’s responses that this organizing is working.”
The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) is a national coalition of hundreds of groups working together for freedom, justice and equality. Founded in 2001 as the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, USCPR has been a leading player in the movement for Palestinian rights in the United States. The coalition is bound by commonly shared principles on Palestine solidarity as well as anti-racism principles.