More than 110 MPs could be denied entry to Israel

More than 110 MPs could be denied entry to Israel

Activists have drafted a list of parliamentarians who may be turned away from the Jewish state because of their public support for boycotts

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

The Houses of Parliament in Westminster
The Houses of Parliament in Westminster

More than 110 MPs could be denied entry to Israel under a new law adopted by Israeli politicians earlier this month.

Activists have drafted a list of 112 Members of Parliament who may now be turned away because they have publicly called for a boycott of Israel or Jewish settlements, or belong to an organisation which has called for a boycott.

They include former Scottish leader Alex Salmond, Foreign Officer Minister Sir Alan Duncan, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, Foreign Affairs Select Committee chairman Crispin Blunt and most of Labour’s front-bench.

Minister and Leader of the House of Commons David Lidington MP said the Government was “seeking urgent clarification from the Israeli authorities as to what the application of the new policy might be”.

If any British citizens felt uncertain about a possible visit to Israel, he added: “We suggest they contact the embassy [in Israel]. We will give clearer advice as soon as we get it.”

The law, adopted on 6 March by a clear majority of Israeli parliamentarians, forbids entry to foreigners who call for boycotts of Israel or settlements built in occupied Palestinian and Syrian territory, despite these settlements being considered illegal under international law.

The draft list of MPs, compiled by pro-Palestinian activist Gary Spedding, looks back over comments made in the past ten years, and includes many who have signed Early Day Motions or who took part in a Commons debate last year on ethical procurement.

While it is likely that those listed will face increased scrutiny at entry points, MPs can apply to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior in advance of future visits for special permission to be allowed in.

Spedding said: “All MPs who have previously participated in Palestine solidarity activities whilst being a sitting MP or just prior to being elected and also those who have been on pro-Palestine delegations to Israel and the territories are of high risk status.”

He added: “It is interesting to note that critics of the illegal settlements are also members of Labour Friends of Israel and Conservative Friends of Israel,” saying that they too “may also have difficulties”.

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