New Israel Law Bars Foreign Critics From Entering the Country

Source: The New York Times

Israel’s Parliament has struck back at the international boycott movement against the country and its settlements in the West Bank by passing a law barring entry to foreigners who have publicly supported the movement.

The measure, passed on Monday night, received little notice in Israel, but by Tuesday it set off alarms in the United States, where Israel’s critics and some of its most loyal Jewish supporters alike warned that it would further isolate the country.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest Jewish movement in North America, said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem: “It’s going to be a giant sign up by the door of the Jewish state: ‘Don’t come unless you agree with everything we’re doing here.’ I don’t know what kind of democracy makes that statement.”

The vote came as the Israeli government’s right flank has been emboldened by the election of President Trump and his warm welcome in Washington last month of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The bill passed the Parliament, or Knesset, 46 to 28, with proponents calling it a common-sense measure to exclude “haters,” and opponents warning that it would backfire and encourage further boycotts.

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