Ben Jamal, Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said,
“Last week, the Knesset passed a law to ban entry to foreigners who advocate the non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Last night, the first victim of this new law was PSC chair Hugh Lanning, who was detained overnight and deported from Israel this morning. We believe that he is now permanently barred from the country.
By introducing this law, Israel is violating fundamental freedoms essential to a democracy- the right to free speech, to criticise government policies and human rights violations, the right to advocate non-violent actions to address human rights abuses, the right of free movement and travel. A democratic country does not behave in the way Israel is behaving.
If Israel believes that by introducing these draconian undemocratic laws it will intimidate its critics into silence it is mistaken. The PSC will not stop raising its voice to highlight the systematic violation of Palestinian human rights in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel itself.
We call upon all those who care about democratic values to join us in condemning the deportation of Hugh Lanning and the passing of this repressive law. We call upon the British Government to make clear to Israel that it is not acceptable for it to ban entry to British citizens whose only crime is to advocate for human rights of the Palestinian people and to protest against policies that violate those rights .”