Is­raeli row over BDS black­list

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ANSHEL PFEFFER

IS­RAEL’S AT­TOR­NEY Gen­eral, Avichai Men­del­blitt, has for­bid­den the Strate­gic Af­fairs Ministry from com­pil­ing a “black­list” of Is­raelis who sup­port the BDS cam­paign against the Jewish state.

The clash be­tween the Is­raeli govern­ment’s most se­nior le­gal ad­viser and In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity and Strate­gic Af­fairs Min­is­ter Gi­lad Er­dan was re­vealed by Haaretz on Mon­day, lead­ing to an an­gry re­sponse from Mr Er­dan on Twit­ter.

The Is­raeli govern­ment has been main­tain­ing a data­base of BDS ac­tivists around the world for years, and for­eign cit­i­zens on the list ar­riv­ing at Ben Gu­rion Air­port or Is­rael’s land bor­der cross­ings are of­ten re­fused en­try.

Mr Er­dan, who re­ceived two years ago a min­is­te­rial brief to “com­bat BDS” wants to in­clude Is­raeli cit­i­zens on the data­base. In cab­i­net meet­ings the at­tor­ney-gen­eral has clashed with Mr Er­dan, in­sist­ing that his ministry has no le­gal author­ity to col­lect in­for­ma­tion on Is­raeli cit­i­zens’ po­lit­i­cal views.

On Mon­day morn­ing, fol­low­ing the re­port in Haaretz, Mr Er­dan tweeted: “I will keep on do­ing my job and act­ing against those pro­mot­ing the boy­cott and dele­git­imi­sa­tion of Is­rael. Even if bu­reau­crats who are used to just de­fend­ing leak it to Haaretz.”

“The in­tel­li­gence ser­vices have been work­ing qui­etly and ef­fi­ciently for years on this is­sue,” said one for­mer Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial. “Er­dan is try­ing to make a name for him­self on this and gain po­lit­i­cal cap­i­tal as the great cru­sader against BDS, but his ministry has just caused dam­age.”

Se­nior Is­raeli diplo­mats have also com­plained about de­mands from Mr Er­dan’s ministry to use Is­raeli em­bassies abroad for anti-BDS op­er­a­tions, which so far have been blocked.

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