(Washington, D.C., August 15, 2019)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
Israel has a policy that does allow the barring of Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) supporters from entering the country. The visit of U.S. Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, both supporters of this movement, raised, for Israel, legitimate security and legal concerns with their so-called “Delegation to Palestine.”
Countries facing acute security threats often must balance those hazards against democratic imperatives. Israel’s lawmakers have determined that its security needs warrant barring those who back boycotts of the country and who call for the end of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. As a vibrant democracy, Israel has so much to proudly showcase. But its basic right to existence, equality and safety warrant respect by all, not least by those who visit.
Countries, especially an acutely threatened one like Israel, may and must sometimes grapple with tension between openness and wellbeing. This is one such example.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org