The Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Strategic Affairs said Monday that Israel has denied a prominent British boycott activist’s entry into the country.
Hugh Lanning, of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, was prohibited from entering Israel because his organization has close ties to the Hamas terrorist organization and is one of the leading forces seeking to delegitimize Israel, according to Yakin-Karkovsky, a a senior official at Strategic Affairs.
Ben Jamal, director of the PSC, called Lanning the “first victim” of a new law which bars BDS supporters from coming into Israel.
Actually, the law is not scheduled to go into effect for several weeks, while the government is working out the details of its enforcement.
Yakin-Karkovsky said that Mr. Lanning was barred based on existing law.
Gilad Erdan, the Minister of Strategic Affairs, offered an extra-legal rationale for keeping people like Mr. Lanning out of the country:
“Whoever acts against Israel should understand that the rules of the game have changed. No sane country would allow entry to key boycott activists working to harm the country’s core interests and lead to its isolation,” he said.
Yakin-Karkovsky also cited a similar 1971 immigration law in Britain that empowered the state to refuse entry to, or expel, foreigners in the “public interest.” That gives officials a much broader mandate than the new Israeli law which targets only active supporters of the BDS movement against Israel.
Jonathan Arkush, president of The Board of Deputies of British Jews, welcomed Israel’s decision, and referred to a recent study which exposes “PSC’s members and supporters [as] riddled with anti-Semitism,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
“Mr. Lanning has been pictured with the leaders of Hamas and apparently enjoying their company. Hamas is a violent terrorist entity which is openly anti-Semitic and, for good measure, hates Christians too,” Mr. Arkush said.
“In refusing Mr. Lanning’s entry, Israel has exercised the same power that the United Kingdom has to deny admission where it would be conducive to the public good. If Palestine Solidarity Campaign wants to avoid being treated like a pariah, it has to stop behaving like one.”