Israel's parliament, the Knesset, has passed an amendment to the nation's state entry law. Under the amended law, people who support boycotts against the Jewish State, including those who work for organizations that do the same, are banned from entering the country.
"In the last few years the calls to boycott Israel have been growing," the bill proposal read. "It appears that this is a new front in the war against Israel for which the state was so far reluctant to prepare. This amendment aims to prevent people or representatives of companies, associations or organizations who publically call to boycott Israel from actively working within state territories to promote their agenda."
The amendment passed earlier this week, on Monday, 6 March. It is intended to counter the international Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The bill passed with 46 MKs (Knesset Members) voting in favor of it and 28 against.
It dictates that no visa or residency permit of any kind will be granted if s/he, or the organization or body for which s/he works, knowingly and publicly calls to boycott Israel or has participated in a boycott against Israel.
Because they have the civil right to disagree and protest against their own country, citizens and permanent residents in Israel are excluded from the amended law.
Also, the Minister of the Interior retains authority to grant entry permits under special circumstances.
MK Bezalel Smotrich, one of the MK's who proposed the bill, defended it during deliberations.
"What is this amendment about, all told?" he asked.
"A nation with common sense ...does not want to aid those who harm it, and does not allow [such people] to use our infrastructures against us."
The Knesset also passed a bill in its second and third reading, which will enable Israeli courts to prevent a citizen's entry to Israel and annul his citizenship without his presence is he is suspected of terrorism.