How is Israel compiling its BDS blacklists?

Israeli minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan arrives at the scene of stabbing of a Jewish teenager in Shmuel Hanavi street in Jerusalem on October 9, 2015. At least four attacks, three by Palestinians and one by an Israeli, as well as deadly clashes along the Gaza border threatened to escalate tensions throughout the country on Friday as Israel struggled to control spiraling violence. Photo by Mahfouz Abu Turk

Human rights activists are challenging Israeli blacklists of supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, or BDS.

Lawyer Eitay Mack and several other Israeli activists last week filed a freedom of information petition with the Jerusalem district court demanding that two government departments disclose how they create the blacklists. The lists are used to prevent overseas BDS activists from entering territories controlled by Israel, including the occupied West Bank. The court action comes after a freedom of information request, filed by Mack last month, was rebuffed by the ministries.

Astonishingly, they justified the refusal based on the “privacy” of the BDS activists. In an email sent to The Electronic Intifada, Mack called this “a new world record in cynicism and hypocrisy.” He explained that unless Israeli authorities admit to “illegally compiling personal non-public data on international activists and groups, while using, for example, invasive monitoring and spying software” then disclosure would lead to no privacy violation.
Read full version from Electronic Intifada