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Senior Israeli minister: Make BDS activists in Israel 'pay a price'

Public Security Minister Erdan says ‘the message has to be that it’s not worth being a BDS activist,’ reveals his plans to create government-sponsored legislation to that end.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan speaks during the annual Herzliya Conference, June 16, 2016. (photo: Adi Cohen-Zeked/Herzliya Conference)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan speaks during the annual Herzliya Conference, June 16, 2016. (photo: Adi Cohen-Zeked/Herzliya Conference)

Israeli Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan says that BDS advocates inside Israel must be made to pay a price and that he is working to create legislation that would do just that.

“The message has to be that it’s not worth being a BDS activist,” the minister said at a panel on BDS at the Herzliya Conference on Thursday. “Anybody who works to delegitimize Israel, to bring an end to the Zionist enterprise, they should know that there will be a price.”

Pointing to legislation that targets and punishes boycott and divestment actions and activists overseas, particularly in Europe and the United States, Erdan lamented “there’s no real price for somebody here, [an individual] or an organization who is working against his country in order to isolate it in the world.”

Erdan also revealed that he has put together a legal team that is working with the Israeli Justice Ministry to ensure that there is a price for boycott and presumably anti-occupation activism.

“If we want to convince the world that de-legitimization is unacceptable for which a price must be paid, then it needs to start here in Israel,” the senior minister said.

Israel already has a law that allows civil suits to be brought against boycott activists under certain circumstances, but it has never been used. Erdan described the existing boycott law as ineffective.

In March of this year, Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz advocated engaging in “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders with the help of Israeli intelligence, using language that deliberately evoked the Hebrew term for “targeted assassinations.”

Erdan made sure to distance himself from Katz’s comments, which drew the ire of Amnesty International at the time, reassuring the yearly policy conference that he was not referring to any sort of physical threats.

Illustrative photo of BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in Brussels, April 30, 2015. (Photo by intal.be / CC 2.0)

Illustrative photo of BDS Movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in Brussels, April 30, 2015. (Photo by intal.be / CC 2.0)

Israeli authorities recently announced that they have put a de facto travel ban on BDS leader Omar Barghouti and are considering revoking his permanent residency status in the country.

Erdan outlined steps he believes the government should take as it moves from defense to offense against the boycott movement and those who advocate for it.

Israeli authorities must target such activists’ and organizations’ bank accounts, expose their sources of funding, specifically to look at whether they can be tied to declared terrorist organizations, and look for irregularities in their funding in order to find any illegal activity, he explained.

The government is currently advancing legislation that targets the funding of human rights organizations and other groups associated with the anti-occupation left in Israel.

The legislation, which is described by its sponsors as a transparency bill, would cast human rights and left-wing political activists as foreign agents, directly implying that they are working against Israel on behalf of foreign, hostile governments.

BDS is a Palestinian-led non-violent movement that seeks to end the occupation, achieve a just resolution for Palestinian refugees, and full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Conservative Voice

      What an obvious move. Anti-semitism should not be tolerated.

      Reply to Comment
    2. spritzer

      “Anybody who works to delegitimize Israel, to bring an end to the Zionist enterprise, they should know that there will be a price.”

      What’s the meaning of “the Zionist enterprise”? The owning of the land from the river to the sea?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Jan

      Lets see. BDS was designed to bring an end to the almost 50 year occupation. BDS is a non-violent means of protest. Does Minister Gilad Erdan prefer violence? I hope not.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Ben

      What a repellent two-bit functionary. He draws the line at assassinating activists?–what a mensch. And in news from 2012, “Israel’s minister of environmental protection [Gilad Erdan], a senior member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, is now asking to leave 1.5 million people without the little they need to survive, so that Israeli citizens can enjoy their air-conditioning undisturbed this August.”

      http://972mag.com/israeli-minister-cut-power-supply-to-gaza-this-summer/45576/

      Reply to Comment
    5. Bruce Gould

      A timely reminder of the demographics: every study I can find says there is a rough equality of Palestinians and Jews in Greater Israelistine – 6 million each, give or take. (Many studies predict that in 20 or 30 years the Jewish population of G.I. will drop into the 40% range, but whatever). Although there is rough equality of numbers between these two groups, one of them controls everything and is unwilling to cede any land for a state for the other group. Welcome to the future of the Jewish State.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Average American

      Wow, just putting it right out there huh, “The Zionist Enterprise”! There are two parts to the Zionist enterprise. One is very real, on the ground, and happening now: the takeover of all of Eretz Israel (which they already consider theirs) by force if necessary, including Syria, Lebanon, all of Israel of course, half of Iraq (“to the Euphrates”), Jordan, a quarter of Saudi Arabia, and the Sinai (“to the River of Egypt”). The other part of the enterprise is being discussed in Israeli government and is very near to being real: the building of the Third Temple, which allows the Courts of the Sanhedrin to reform and rule Eretz Israel (and the world through the Noahide Laws of submission to those courts, see Law 7) under Jewish halacha law. This is already under the premise that goyim are here to serve the Jews (Schneerson and Ovadia). If you resist that, any of that, or anything that may be added to that, in speech or silence or action or inaction, then you must be punished. They’ll take your bank account (that was funny, imagine Jews having control of your money, what a funny idea) they’ll affect your employment, they have ways to find out about you and punish you. Erdan is just formalizing what Jewish Zionist policy has been all along.

      Reply to Comment

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