The chair of Britain’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and advocate of the boycott of Israel over its occupation of Palestine was denied entry at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv last week. “The organisation Mr Lanning heads is one of the leading anti-Israel delegitimisation and BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) organisations in Britain, and one of the largest in Europe,” explained a joint statement from the Israeli immigration authority and the strategic affairs ministry. Israel also accused Lanning of maintaining ties with Hamas, the de facto governing authority in the Gaza Strip.
This is the first notable example since the Israeli Knesset (parliament) approved a new law last week, banning anyone who supports the BDS movement from entering the country. The law applies to any individual who is active in an organisation that has issued a public call to boycott Israel or has pledged to take part in such a boycott.
Israel is violating “freedoms essential to a democracy: the right to free speech and criticise government policies and human rights violations; the right to advocate nonviolent actions to address human rights abuses; and the right of free movement and travel.”