Banned for Supporting Palestinian Human Rights

The Israeli government is in a panic. How else to explain the fact that they just banned the leaders of 20 organizations in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement from entering Israel?

They see the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement gaining mainstream legitimacy, and know that this is a defining moment.

So we placed an ad in Haaretz with the 5 other U.S groups on the list (CodePink, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, American Muslims for Palestine, American Friends Service Committee, and National Students for Justice in Palestine), to push the true story forward:

Boycotts work.

Support the ad with a financial contribution here and read on to see our initial press release and op-eds.


Israel Includes Jewish Voice for Peace on a BDS Ban List for Supporting Palestinian Human Rights
Initial Press Release from Jewish Voice for Peace

Strategic Affairs Ministry, which is compiling the list, names 19 other organizations whose members will be barred from entering the country.

Yesterday Israel announced that it is compiling a blacklist of organizations whose members will not be allowed to enter Israel due to their support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. The announcement initially had Jewish Voice for Peace as the only organization specifically named. Rebecca Vilkomerson responded with this op-ed.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, Jewish Voice for Peace Executive Director:

“Israel’s decision to specifically ban JVP leaders from entry is disconcerting but not surprising, given the further erosion of democratic norms as well as rising anxiety about the power of BDS as a tool to demand freedom. JVP members are now joining Palestinians as well as Muslims from around the world, people of color and other activists who are often barred from entry.

Our JVP members have no doubt about the justice of fighting for equality and freedom for all people in Israel/Palestine, and the legitimacy of BDS to bring that closer. We will not be bullied by these attempts to punish us for a principled political stance that increasing numbers of Jews and non-jews support worldwide.

As someone with considerable family in Israel, this policy will be a personal hardship. But I am also heartened by this indicator of the BDS movement’s growing strength, and hope that it will bring the day closer when just as I go to visit my friends and family in Israel, so will Palestinian friends and colleagues be able to return home.”



I’m a U.S. Jew on Israel’s BDS Blacklist. I Have Family in Israel. But I Won’t Be Silenced
Op-Ed in Haaretz by Rebecca Vilkomerson, JVP Executive Director

The first time I went to Israel I was four months old. Throughout my childhood and young adulthood I visited regularly: My grandparents, in Haifa; and my aunt, uncle and cousins, on a religious kibbutz near the Jordanian border. There was no place, with the exception of the town where I grew up, to which I felt more connected.

As an adult, married to an Israeli, we spent three years living in Tel Aviv with our two young daughters, who also have Israeli citizenship…




I’m A Jew And A Member Of JVP. Israel Just Banned Me.
Op-Ed in The Forward by Ben Lorber, JVP Campus Coordinator

In 2011, I visited the land of Israel on a trip for American Jews, organized by an Orthodox yeshiva — kind of like Birthright, only more religious. I remember how holy it felt to pray at the graves of the matriarchs and patriarchs in Hebron, to dunk in the mikvah (ritual bath) used by the Arizal, Isaac Luria, legendary 16th-century Kabbalist, in the holy city of Tzfat. I remember how blessed I was to chant the Mourner’s Kaddish for my grandfather, on his yahrzeit (the anniversary of his passing), at the Western Wall.

As I gradually became aware of the great injustices, past and present, committed in that land, my prayers came to include prayers for justice…