Intends to Increase Efforts to Challenge Israeli Policies of Occupation and Apartheid
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., January 7, 2018 — Israel announced today that 20 organizations worldwide, including CODEPINK, are now banned from entering the county due to their support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. CODEPINK has long campaigned through BDS and solidarity tours, including bringing 800 people to the besieged Gaza Strip, to end the US-funded Israeli occupation and its abuse of Palestinian rights.
CODEPINK has organized two successful BDS campaigns, one against the cosmetics company AHAVA and another against SodaStream. Both companies ended up moving their factories from illegal West Bank settlements. CODEPINK continues to maintain BDS campaigns to demand that the real estate company RE/MAX and vacation rental company Airbnb stop selling and listing homes in illegal settlements.
With the new official blacklist of banned organizations, Israel is seeking to punish and intimidate activists supporting the Palestinian struggle for human rights. The blacklist expands the bans Israel has already had in place since 1948 to bar Palestinian refugees from returning to their homes and lands. The blacklist further demonstrates Israel’s reliance on a system of apartheid to stifle opposition to its racist and colonial rule.
CODEPINK takes pride in being recognized as a staunch defender of Palestinian human rights alongside the other five US organizations (19 worldwide) that have also been banned.
Our response to the ban will be to increase all efforts to challenge Israeli policies of occupation and apartheid. We are certain that this ban will undermine its intended goal of covering up Israeli crimes against Palestinians and will help galvanize public opinion for freedom and justice in Palestine. We remain committed to using the BDS nonviolent tactic to reveal corporate complicity in Palestinian human rights violations.
CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin spoke out in response to the blacklist: “It’s outrageous that Israel would ban human rights activists who support a Gandhi-like boycott campaign that has historically been the bedrock of nonviolent social change movements. And some people still call Israel a democracy and justify giving it billions of our tax dollars? Enough.”
CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans said, “Israel is obviously threatened by groups like CODEPINK that stand up for the rights of the oppressed. Our efforts to expose the plight of the Palestine people makes us criminals in the eyes of the Israeli government, but only makes us more determined who show who the real criminals are.”
“By banning the leaders of peace organizations like CODEPINK, Israel is isolating itself even further as an apartheid state,” said Ariel Gold, national director of CODEPINK “Their BDS blacklist is contrary to democratic principles and Jewish values. As an American Jew, I am proud of my work to challenge Israel’s policies of repression. I will not give up the fight.”
Nancy Kricorian, 13-year team member of CODEPINK who led the AHAVA campaign said, “As I read through the names of groups now banned from entering Israel because of their advocacy for Palestinian rights, I thought that this list was rather a roll of honor. Israel's desperate attempt to counter the BDS movement with this latest blacklist, along with the millions of dollars they are spending on internet trolling and propaganda campaigns, will not stop our principled support of equality and justice for the Palestinian people.”