Hugh Lanning was refused entry just a week after the Knesset passed a law banning foreign nationals who call for boycotts.
By Rosa Doherty / The Jewish Chronicle
March 13, 2017
“We call upon the British Government to make clear to Israel that it is not acceptable for it to ban entry to British citizens whose only crime is to advocate for human rights of the Palestinian people and to protest against policies that violate those rights.”
— Ben Jamal, Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
The chairman of the [U.K.] Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has been prevented from entering Israel.
Hugh Lanning was refused entry on Sunday, just a week after the Knesset passed a law banning foreign nationals who call for boycotts.
Lanning would likely have been barred prior to the introduction of the law due to a longstanding policy to refuse entry to boycott activists; however, border police told him he had been blocked due to the new legislation.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister, also made explicit the link between the new law and the treatment of Lanning, saying on Sunday evening: “Those acting against Israel need to understand that reality is changing. No sane country would permit entry to the main activists calling for its boycott and who work leave it isolated.”
A joint statement by the Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority and Ministry of Public Security highlighted PSC’s involvement with other groups who work to delegitimize Israel in the UK.
It also pointed out Mr Lanning met senior Hamas figures in Gaza in 2012, including top official Ismail Haniyeh.
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said Israel was following a “determined policy that would no longer look the other way on activists who want to undermine its existence.”
A statement from the Israeli Embassy in the UK emphasized the PSC’s support for the BDS campaign.