Israel's blacklist a desperate attempt to silence a movement for justice

7 January 2018 - 11:00pm
Press release

News broke today that the State of Israel has published a 'blacklist' of groups whose staff it will ban from entering its borders, including War on Want.

Asad Rehman, War on Want's Executive Director responded by saying:

"Israel’s blacklist targeting international charities and human rights organisations such as War on Want is part of a wider crackdown on BDS. It is a desperate attempt to silence a growing movement that is holding Israel to account for its systematic abuse of Palestinian rights and persistent violations of international law.

This measure is typical of Israel’s ongoing repression of the Palestinian people. For 70 years, Israel has subjected Palestinians to a range of human rights abuses including travel bans preventing them from leaving or from returning to their homes, arbitrary arrest and detention without trial, physical violence and other forms of collective punishment. It also systematically targets and harasses those Palestinians who dare to speak out against this oppression. These are the abuses that have prompted the BDS movement in the first place, and such attacks will only draw more attention to Israel’s repression and increase support for those advocating for human rights.

The UK government must condemn this latest crackdown on human rights defenders. It must also take immediate steps to hold Israel to account for its continuing violations of Palestinian rights through measures such as the immediate suspension of its trade relations with Israel, including the arms trade.

This blacklist is a repressive tactic borrowed from the same playbook used by the apartheid regime in South Africa when it tried to censor critics. Such attempts to silence human rights defenders through blacklisting and targeted harassment failed then as they will now. War on Want, our supporters and the millions of people around the world will continue to stand up to the global crackdown by authoritarian and repressive regimes. We refuse to allow human rights violations to be normalised."​

Read our FAQs on War on Want and Israel's BDS blacklist.

For further comment and interviews:

Liz McKean Campaigns Director (


Editors Notes:


1. 'Israel imposes travel ban on 20 foreign NGOs over boycott movement', The Guardian, 7 January 2018

2. War on Want's Justice for Palestine work:

3. Palestinian Civil Society Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel Until it Complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights - 9 July 2005


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