Clarifications to the Entry to Israel Law

Ben-Gurion-AirportPhoto by Tal Dahan

Last week, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs began to outline the criteria for the new amendment to the Entry to Israel Law. Below is a translation of the clarifications published by newspaper “Makor Rishon.”


The Knesset passed a law two months ago preventing entry visas to anyone who calls for a boycott of Israel. The text of the law states that a person who is not an Israeli citizen that published a call to boycott the State of Israel, or is a member of an organization that calls for boycott, will not receive an entry visa into Israel. […] Recently the Ministry for Strategic Affairs completed the administrative work that defines some of the law’s criteria. […] The criteria highlight that even support for boycotts “actively, continuously and consistently” can constitute a preliminary cause for applying the law. On the other hand, the law will not apply to those who oppose government policy: “The fact that an organization is anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian, or has an agenda that is critical of Israeli government policy, is not cause for preventing entry into Israel.” The criteria also determine that before preventing the entry of an activist, the level of damage he causes and level of impact he has on the surroundings should be examined. “The activities of an organization in central European countries are not deemed the same as the activities of a similar organization in Africa or Asia,” it states.  The law enforcement authorities have clarified that in practice, only highly prominent or dangerous figures will be barred entry to Israel. The average foreign national, including those who call for a boycott of Israel, are not expected to experience any problems upon arrival. Enforcement will apply primarily to those who “hold senior or significant positions in prominent delegitimization organizations, prominent activists who are engaged in direct, consistent and continuous actions that promote boycotts, institutional entities, such as mayors who actively promote continuous boycotts.” Alongside these definitions, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan are granted broad discretion as to who this law should apply to, in accordance with professional opinion: “In cases in which the damage that would be caused by refusing a person’s entry for reasons of advocating boycott would exceed the benefit of refusing entry, these professional entities may recommend granting the entry visas to a person who meets the aforesaid criteria.”


To read the original text in Hebrew, click here.

To read ACRI and Adalah’s response to Members of Knesset, click here.

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Categories: Anti-Democratic Initiatives, Democracy and Civil Liberties


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