Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Belgium: Catholic Brigitte Herremans is central figure in European demonisation of Israel, including the practice of exploiting tourist visas

Via Fathom (Gerald Steinberg):
Among Israeli politicians and pundits, the recognition of threats from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and demonisation, through labels such as ‘apartheid’ and ‘war criminal,’ dawned very slowly. When the response came, it took the form of an overreaction and a series of own-goals that, if anything, have made matters worse. 
The most damaging involves policies preventing the entry of BDS activists (actual and imagined) into Israel, first through the actions of overzealous officials in the Interior Ministry at Ben Gurion International Airport, and later through Knesset legislation. This led to intense criticism, and became another major source of friction between Jewish critics of Israel in the Diaspora and the government. (...) 
In this period, a number of ‘global BDS’ activists – particularly non-Jews leading major organisations, were denied entry, including Brigitte Herremans of the Catholic Belgian NGOs Broederlijk Delen and Pax Christi (both involved in BDS initiatives). Herremans is one of the central figures in European demonisation of Israel, including the practice of exploiting tourist visas for bringing groups to Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). These familiarisation tours’ emphasise Palestinian victimhood and Israeli culpability, reinforcing support for political warfare, including BDS, among the participants. Afterwards, the group members are expected to participate in campaigns targeting Israel.

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