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August 9, 2016 6:13 am

No More Mr. Nice Guy

avatar by Judith Bergman

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A 2005 protest at Bil'in. Photo: Wikipedia.

A 2005 protest at Bil’in. Photo: Wikipedia.

Israel always plays nice. For decades, we have been allowing those who demonize and delegitimize Israel to cross our borders and do their dirty work against us on our own soil.

The Palestinian village of Bil’in has become one very real symbol of this kind of “activist tourism,” where anti-Israel foreign activists gather to provoke fights with the Israel Defense Forces in order to gain propaganda footage for the international media.

The reasoning behind Israel’s welcoming policy is that we are a democracy, and we will allow even those who wish us nothing but harm to benefit from our democratic policies. But the real reason is more likely a fear of the international backlash that denying entry to Israel-haters would elicit. Whatever the case may be, the policy has always been a big mistake. As a sovereign nation, Israel should be free to turn anyone it wishes away at the border.

However, the policy finally appears to have been put to rest, at least as far as the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is concerned. On Sunday, Israel’s Interior and Public Security ministers declared that they planned to establish a taskforce aimed at expelling BDS supporters and preventing their entry into Israel. According to the press release, dozens of organizations inside Israel are actively collecting information to promote boycotts and international isolation. The new taskforce will be responsible for identifying such efforts and combating them.

Much like the NGO law, which is compelling NGOs to divulge any foreign funding, this effort is likely to outrage the usual suspects in the international media and NGO community. Israel’s answer to this should be a polite “mind your own business.” Israel owes no one any explanations for defending itself against those who wish to destroy it. As Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said: “We must not allow boycott activists to enter Israel. This is a necessary step given the maliciousness of these delegitimizing activists who work to spread lies and to distort the reality of our region.”

This is a logical and natural move, and it should have been implemented as soon as the BDS movement surfaced. We have bent over backward so far to accommodate the so-called international community and its “concerns” that frankly our backs are about to break.

We should also expect an outcry from the European Union and several of its individual member states. Many of the organizations that promote BDS are sponsored to a lesser or greater degree by the EU, one or more of its member states (particularly Germany and the Scandinavian countries), or both, bringing into serious question whether these organizations are truly non-governmental in the first place.

It will doubtless be embarrassing for the EU to see its activists expelled and returned home. And rest assured: Those who will scream the loudest will be those who wished most fervently for the destruction of Israel. Thus, the new policy is likely to have the welcome side effect of outing those European nations that have truly been working against us by funding organizations that are deeply hostile toward Israel.

The presence of foreign, hostile activists operating on Israeli soil collecting information to use against us in the international arena is not only unique to Israel (show me one other country where such operations are systematically put into place with substantial financial backing from foreign governments), but also an embarrassing disgrace for these foreign, mainly European, governments, that are betraying their obligations under international law to engage with Israel only through diplomatic and legal channels.

Israel must demand a clear answer as to why these supposedly friendly nations support anti-Israel efforts. Is it customary for countries that cooperate and enjoy full diplomatic relations to engage in hostile activities against each other behind each other’s backs? The question is simple and has an even simpler answer.

Judith Bergman is a writer and political analyst living in Israel. This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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  • stevenl

    Be nice ONLY for those who show GENUINE RESPECT.

  • ben schneider

    Deport them to gaza.

  • Gary Henderson

    Send some of those “sovereign country” zealots to Texas, we have some work for them!
    I have worked the Rio Grande Valley assisting the US Border Patrol for years and Obama has made the process of apprehending illegal aliens a Muslim inspired joke. Agents process them and send them on their way into the interior, Chinese, Indians, Muslims from the Middle East, North Africans, etc. And they aren’t coming here to mow lawns!
    The woman in charge of visa processing visa applications for the Department Of Homeland Security is a Sunni Muslim, complete with hijab.

    • Gary Henderson

      Latest Syrian, (Turks) trained refugee count since January, 4780, aided and abetted by the UN, Soros, Obama, w/o permission from real America. Muslims – 4757, Christians – 23.
      They keep infidels at home, the visa controls are manned by Muslims.

  • Marco Redwolf

    The Obama Administrations ( together with the DNCs ) attempts to influence and defeat PM Netanyahu in the last election seems to fit this narrative of extra-national involvement Will Israel have the backbone to deny entry to US Citizens if they are BDS activists?

  • Martin Bookspan

    Identifying and expelling them hardly goes far enough. Any other nation, after identifying them, would put them on trial as spies, convict them and EXECUTE them……

  • Michelle Albagli

    The world will always hate us but with a strong defence we may finally get some respect – far more important

  • sidney sands

    It is time that Israel does not give those who wish to destroy it, a base in Israel to spout their hate for the country, protect the people of Israel from these BDS supporters from outside and inside Israel, keep them out.

  • Ephraim

    I sincerely hope they follow through on this. The international (read antisemitic biased) press could not possibly be harder on Israel than it is now. And the European legacy of Jew hatred (I think Germany would qualify here, don’t you?) grows more blatant by the day. If these neo-Nazis can be exposed, all the better. But it is long since time for Israel to stop supporting its own bitter enemies.

  • Mosha Gomayan

    Great News! Now we can wipe put the Palestinians without those pesky BDS tourists observing it!

  • Norman

    It is always fascinating to me how those of the BDS movement demanding isolation and economic sanctions against Israel, keep wanting to go to Israel.

    Surely that defeats the purpose?

    And their demand for a ban on Israeli Academics is somewhat puzzling, given the BDS founder is one!

    Can’t they work this out? Surely, it’s obvious to everyone ELSE that if you don’t like somewhere, you don’t go there. And if you want a blanket ban on people that include yourself, you’re an idiot.

  • fred

    About time, about time. These meddlers who have time & money on their hands have no business to be in Israel for the sole purpose than provoking unwaranted attacks on Israel. They yearn for the Hitler BDS periods well let them do research before embarking like a lot of harpies to bad mouth Israel, as stooges for the Arab squatters.

  • Brigitte Youngworth

    Well done Eretz Yisrael for standing up against the bully nations out there!!

  • Jay

    Why did it take the Israelis so long to implement this policy?

  • richard sherwin

    these foreign ‘protesters’ and euronogoers behave just like spoiled kids. believing their freedom is worth more than that of those they deny oppress or transgress on. and theyll keep on doing it till theyre made to pay the cost/price of their behavior. ditto the jewish kids in the usa universities playing games with bds and black antizionism.

  • Naftalli

    Can you imagine any “activists’ running around Gaza collecting information on Hamas in order to demonize it. How long would they last?

  • marvelous article, Mazel Tov!

  • Amy Beth

    Israel Defend Yourself from these Muslim Devils!!The world is now dealing with these Evil beings as well!!!We Are seeing Firsthand the Evil you deal with Daily!Lord is with You!!!Trust that!

  • Arrêtez tout! Israël doit fermer les frontières oui, regagner qui ont été prises, mis sur un train insatisfait et les envoie à Riyad ou à La Mecque, la vente de votre haute technologie. produits prix millionnaire à la -qui monde occidental peut acheter!

  • Yaakov

    When one arrives in Israel, one is typically asked the purpose of one’s visit. What do these activists say?

  • Steve epstein

    if they’d really support BDS, the should not want to visit Israel…Their visit is direct support for the State of Israel. Not only are they haters, they are stupid.

  • Serge Rosenbaum

    Concerning Russian activity in the EU, here is a paper published by the Martens Centre (European Peoples Party)

    “The paper recommends, among other measures, fostering the EU’s own narrative, which is based on human rights, freedom and equality; supporting pro-democratic civil society so that Europeans become more resistant to Russian propaganda; and increasing transparency requirements for NGOs and lobbyists by setting up a mandatory lobbying register at the EU level.”

  • Ziporah Bank Hannan

    It is about time that Israel stands up and defends itself from all who want to harm them. Israel bends backwards to “prove” how democratic it is. I would never allow someone into my home who speaks ill of me while I go to the bathroom. Neither should Israel. This policy would expose all the haters and their supporters.