Reporter with ties to BDS may have to leave Israel

Israel may decide not to renew a press card for a foreign reporter with ties to the BDS movement, which would force him to leave the country. 

A freelance reporter for The Guardian, stationed in Jerusalem, may be forced to leave Israel due to his affiliations with the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) has the discretion of issuing press cards to recognized journalists, and according to an exclusive report in the Jerusalem Post, GPO director Nitzan Chen will likely not renew the press card of journalist Antony Loewenstein.

“We are leaning toward recommending that his work permit not be renewed due to suspected BDS activity,” Chen told the Post.

If the GPO does not renew Loewenstein’s press card, Israel’s Interior Ministry will not provide him with a permit to remain in Israel.

The GPO director also claimed that Loewenstein was not entirely transparent with the Israeli office. “We are checking the incident because, unfortunately, the journalist did not give enough information to our staff,” Chen said.

Loewenstein completely dismissed Chen’s claim. “I didn’t hide anything, and to suggest the card was obtained in any other way is simply untrue,” he told the Post. “There was nothing hidden, and the GPO knows that.”

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The Honest Reporting NGO posted a link last week to a post on Loewenstein’s blog in which he expressed his backing of and affiliation with the BDS movement.  

“I support BDS as a human being first and a Jew second,” wrote Loewenstein. “BDS is growing and I’m proud to be part of a global movement that’s led by the Palestinians most directly affected.”

Approximately two weeks ago, Israel for the first time prevented a supporter of the BDS movement from entering Israel.   

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News