Officials at Ben-Gurion Airport Refuse Entry to Israel of Known BDS Activist
JNS.org – Israel refused entry to an activist for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement Monday, the first time such action was taken since a bill was introduced to the Knesset proposing the policy.
Isabel Phiri, a Malawian member of the World Council of Churches and a known BDS activist, was stopped by Ben-Gurion International Airport authorities while trying to enter the Jewish state on a tourist visa.
According to reports, Phiri’s passport was flagged and Population and Immigration Authority officials at the airport contacted the Interior Ministry for instructions. Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri instructed airport authorities to deny Phiri’s entry, effectively setting a precedent for barring entry to individuals who promote economic, cultural, and academic boycotts against Israel.
Deri and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan jointly head Israel’s public diplomacy efforts against the BDS movement.
“We will continue to prevent BDS activists from entering, as their purpose is to undermine Israel by gathering information and presenting it in a distorted and false manner. BDS activists belong outside the country, and we will continue to pursue the measures at our disposal to prevent them from entering Israel,” Erdan said.