Americans for Peace Now cancels annual Israel trip over anti-boycott law

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Americans for Peace Now has canceled its annual trip to Israel over the country’s new anti-boycott law.

The law passed last month by the Israeli Knesset bars entry to foreigners who publicly call for boycotting the Jewish state or its settlements.

Americans for Peace Now is concerned that trip participants could be stopped at Ben Gurion International Airport and denied entry into Israel, Haaretz first reported this week, noting that the dovish group has been holding its Israel Study Tour for 30 years and this is the first time it was canceling.

Peace Now reportedly canceled the early June trip after failing to get assurances from the Israeli government that participants would be able to enter the country.

Haaretz said it obtained a copy of a letter sent Friday by the organization’s directors to prospective participants, which includes board members and donors.

It read in part: “We do not know yet whether we will reschedule this tour to another date this year or whether we’ll have to suspend our Israel Study Tour program indefinitely, until the law is either revoked, amended or applied in a way that does not impact APN, its staff members, board members and activists.”

The ban applies to any foreigner “who knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel that, given the content of the call and the circumstances in which it was issued, has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott – if the issuer was aware of this possibility.” It includes those who urge boycotting areas under Israeli control, such as the West Bank settlements.

Lawmakers have asserted that the measure was meant to target groups, not individuals.

The study tour’s itinerary included meetings with Israeli and Palestinian politicians, security experts, civil society and peace activists, writers and artists.

A message of “Page not found” is seen when clicking on the Study Tour section of the group’s website.

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