A citizen of Malawi was prevented from entering Israel Monday at Ben Gurion International airport, based on her participation in the World Council of Churches (WCC), which supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel, based on the “Kairos Palestine Document,” which is a call by Christian Arabs to Christians around the world to help fight the “Israeli occupation,” Walla reported.
This is the first time Israel blocked the entry of a foreign visitor solely on the basis of their activism in the BDS movement. The move was decided by both Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) and Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan (Likud), who in charge of operations against boycotts of Israel.
The visitor, Isabel Phiri, landed Monday afternoon at Ben Gurion and presented her tourist visa. Following his consultation with Erdan, Deri banned her from entering.
The Ministry of Strategic Affairs has determined that, as of 2002, the WCC has been promoting a program called The Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) which sends activists to Israel to encourage the boycotting of the Jewish State.
Minister Deri said in a statement that it is well within his authority to prevent the entry of travelers whose purpose in Israel is to support and encourage anti-Israeli activities. “I will continue to use my authority to prevent harm to Israel.”
Minister Erdan said in a statement, “The place for boycott activists is outside Israel’s borders, and we will continue to use every available means to prevent their entry into our country.”