Israeli Minister Looks to Disqualify Pro-BDS Groups From National Service Program
JNS.org – Israeli Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Monday sent a letter to Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, who is in charge of Israel’s national service program, asking Ariel to rescind eligibility quotas for organizations that boycott Israel or support the BDS movement.
The national service program functions as an alternative to mandatory military service in Israel. The program allots quotas of national service volunteers to different institutions and organizations deemed to be contributing to the state.
“It is unacceptable that an organization working to harm the country with boycotts enjoys quotas [from the government] that are intended for the betterment of the country and its citizens,” Erdan wrote.
Erdan pointed to Amnesty International, which receives six national service volunteers from Israel while waging a campaign that urges governments and companies to boycott goods manufactured in Judea and Samaria. The minister also mentioned the Israel Social TV organization, which has supported suspending Israel from FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, and has signed a petition calling on Norway to “join our efforts and stop investing in the Israeli occupation.”